Suits by Indigent Persons (Pauper suit) – Order 33
Q. Who is an indigent person?
U.P. Higher Judicial Service (Additional District Judge) Exam. 1995
U.P. Higher Judicial Service (Additional District Judge) Exam. 1978
(Who can file a suit as an indigent person).
U.P. Judicial Service Exam. 1999 (similar question).
Ans: Order 33, Rule 1 of Civil Procedure Code gives the definition of expression ‘Indigent person’. A person is an indigent person-
(i) If he is not possessed of sufficient means to enable him to pay the fee prescribed by law for the plaint in such suit; or
(ii) Where no such fee is prescribed, when he is not entitled to property worth Rs. 1,000.
But in both the above cases, the property exempted from attachment in execution of a decree and the subject-matter of the suit should be excluded—Explanation 1 of Rule 1 of Order 33.
The property acquired by the applicant after the presentation of the application for permission to sue as an indigent person and the decision thereon should also be taken into consideration for deciding the question whether the applicant is an indigent person—Explanation 2 attached to Rule 1 of Order 33.
When the plaintiff sues in a representative capacity, the question whether he is an indigent person shall be determined with reference to the means possessed by him in such capacity—Explanation 3 attached to Rule 1 of Order 33.
It is also notable in this respect that the Supreme Court in Union Bank of India v. Khader International Construction, (2001) 5 SCC 22 held that the word ‘Person’ used in Order 33, Rule 1 includes a juristic person also.
Source : Kishor Prasad, Problems and Solutions
in Civil Law