When written statements are required—It is laid down in Order VIII, Rule 1, of the Code
of Civil Procedure, that 7(a defendant shall at or before the first hearing or within such time as the Court may permit, present a written statement of his defence in duplicate, one for the Court and
the other for the plaintiff). In most cases, there should be no difficulty in presenting such a written statement on the date fixed, and no adjournment should be given for the purpose except for good cause shown, and in proper cases, costs should be awarded to the opposite side. Laxity in granting adjournments for the purpose of filing written statements should be avoided, and it should be noted that in extreme case contumacious refusal to comply with the Court‘s order is liable to be dealt with under Order 8 Rule 10, Civil Procedure Code.
Documents to accompany written statements—The combined effect of Rules 11 (6A to 6G) , and 12 of Order VIII is that the defendant should produce with the written statement: (i) all documents in his possession or power on which he bases his defence or claim to set off or (makes counter claim) if any; (ii) a list of other documents not in his possession or power but on which he relies in support of his case; (iii) a statement indicating his address for service; (iv) a duplicate of the written statement to be supplied to the plaintiff; and 8(v) a statement of documents not in his possession or power as in whose possession or power it is and where it can be found.
Sub-rule (2) of Rule 1 of Order VIII requires that if the list referred to in (ii) above is not annexed with the written statement or presented at the first hearing, it shall be presented written a period of ten days from the date of the first hearing.
Replications—When the defendant has filed a written statement, the Court may call upon the plaintiff to file a written statement in reply. Under Order VIII, Rule 9, the Court has power to call upon both parties to file written statements at any time and this power should be freely sued for elucidating the pleas when necessary, especially in complicated cases. In simple cases, however, examination of the parties, after the defendant has filed his written statement is generally found to be sufficient.
Separate written statements—In all cases where there are several defendants the Court should, as a rule, take a separate written statement from each defendant unless the defence of any defendants filing a joint written statement are identical in all respects. There may be different defences based upon a variety of circumstances and these should not be allowed to be mixed up together in a single statement merely because all the defendants deny the plaintiffs claim.
Court-fees on set-off and counter-claims—Written statements called from the parties may be on plain paper, but when the defendant claims in his written statements any sum by way of set-off or counter claim under Order VIII, Rule 6, and 6A to 6G, Civil Procedure Code, the statement must be stamped in the same manner as a plaint in a suit for the recovery of that sum.
Contents—A ―written statement‖ is included in the definition of ―pleading‖ (vide Order VI, Rule 1) and should conform to the general rules of pleading given in order VI as well as the special rules with regard to the written statements in Order VIII. All admissions and denials of facts should be specific and precise and not evasive or ambiguous. When allegations of fraud, etc., are set up, the particulars should be fully given. When any legal provision is relied on not only the provisions of law relied upon should be mentioned, but also the facts making it applicable should be stated. For instance when a plea of res judicata is raised, not only the
provision of law (Section 11 of the Civil Procedure Code) should be mentioned, but also the particulars of the previous suit which is alleged to bar the suit.