Alifiya Husenbhai Keshariya vs Siddiq Ismail Sindhi 2024 INSC 457 -CPC – Indigent Appeal

Code Of Civil Procedure, 1908; Order XXXIII –(i) It is an enabling provision for filing of a suit by an indigent person without paying the court fee at the initial stage. (ii) If the suit is decreed for the plaintiff, the court fee would be calculated as if the plaintiff had not originally filed the suit as an indigent person. The said amount is recoverable by the State in accordance with who may ordered to pay the same in the decree. (iii) Even when a suit is dismissed, the court fee shall be recoverable by the State in the form of first charge on the subject-matter of the suit- there is only a provision for the deferred payment of the court fees and this benevolent provision is intended to help the poor litigants who are unable to pay the requisite court fee to file a suit because of their poverty- Referred to Union Bank of India v. Khader International Construction (2001) 5 SCC 22- They exemplify the cherished principle that lack of monetary capability does not preclude a person from knocking on the doors of the Court to seek vindication of his rights. (Para 10-11)

Summary:Whether person who is entitled to receive compensation by way of a claim before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal can be said to have given up its status as an ‘indigent person’, by virtue of the amount slated to be received. In other words, whether a person being an award holder, of monetary compensation without actual receipt thereof, would be disentitled from filing an appeal seeking enhanced compensation as an indigent? – Allowing appeal, SC permitted the appellant to file appeal against MACT order as an indigent person observing thus: She had not yet received the money and, therefore, at the time of filing the appeal she was arguably indigent; and second, that the statutory requirement under the C.P.C., as described above, was not met – the order of the learned Single Judge has to be set aside.

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