How to File a Suit For Recovery

Civil suit for recovery is filed against a person who refuses to return an amount which is due on him, i.e, when a debtor denies to pay back a debt. Such suits are instituted under Order IV of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. The limitation for filing such a suit is 3 years from the date of cause of action.

Wed Jun 29 2022 | HLL Knowledge Series | Comments (0)


A Suit for recovery is a civil remedy which is an effective tool to recover money from a non-payer. The suit can be filed before the court of competent jurisdiction under Order IV of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 (CPC).

A Suit for recovery can be instituted at the place where either the Defendant resides, or place where he carries on business or personally works for gain, or where the cause of action wholly or partly arose. Once the territorial jurisdiction is decided, the next step is to identify the pecuniary jurisdiction which depends on the value of the suit, based on which the suit can be filed either in the District Court or the High Court.

The limitation period for filing a civil suit for recovery in India is three (3) years from the date on which the cause of action arose. Such limitation period generally is not condoned; however, an attempt can be made by stating the reasons/grounds for condoning the said delay, which ultimately is in the hands of the concerned judge.

The Plaint for suit for recovery must contain the details as to the respondent i.e his place of resident, the details as to where the cause of action arose, facts of the case and the relief the plaintiff is praying for. The said plaint is to be accompanied by some supporting documents viz, written contract, particulars of claim, correspondences (if any) and bills etc. This plaint is required to be proved by way of an accompanying affidavit and an appropriate verification of the facts and the Court Fee as per the schedule is required to be paid by the Plaintiff.

Procedure after institution of the suit

The Court, after examining the plaint and its admissibility shall issue summons which is required to be duly served upon the Defendant/s. The Defendant after making his appearance should file his Defence/ Written Statement within the timeline prescribed. On conclusion of evidence, the final arguments would be heard, and suit decreed.

In case of non-satisfaction of the decree passed by the court of law, decree holder should get the decree satisfied by filing an execution application. Through initiation of execution proceedings, the courts directs and mandates the judgement debtor (against whom the decree is passed) to satisfy the decree passed by it.

The concept of a Summary Suit

The most common drawback with respect to a civil suit is that it lingers on for years and is a long-drawn battle. However, the same is not the legal position when it comes to a “Summary” suit for recovery filed under Order XXXVII, of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

Order XXXVII applies to the following classes of suits namely:   

  1. suits upon bills of exchange, hundis and promissory notes;
  3. suits in which the plaintiff seeks only to recover a debt or liquidated demand in money payable by the defendant, with or without interest. 

Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, one can decide as to whether the case falls within the ambit of either Order XXXVII or Order IV of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. It is always advisable to proceed with a suit under Order XXXVII, if the facts so permit as the same is “fast tracked” adjudication. However, if the case is beyond the ambit of the same, an ordinary suit may be preferred as per law.

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