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    Tuesday, 5 May 2015

    Suit against Government or Public Officer

    1. Introduction
    Civil Procedure Code has provided a comprehensive mechanism for trail of civil suit. In fact, it ahs provided procedural rules to a minister trail of civil suit from its institution till its conclusion. The section 80 of CPC also provided such rules for suit and execution by or against government or public officers in their official capacity.

    2. Relevant Provisions
    (i) Section 79 to 82 of CPC
    (ii) Order 27 of CPC
    (iii) Cross Reference: Article 174 of 1973 Constitution of Pakistan

    3. Suit against Government or Public Officer

    A suit against government is to be filed

    (i) If against Federal Government by the name of Pakistan
    (ii) If against Provincial Government by the name of Province
    (iii) A public officer is to be sued personally and not in his public name unless he is a corporation sole.
    (iv) (a) In the case of a suit against the Provincial Government other than a suit relating to the affairs of Railway, a Secretary to that Government of the collector of the District; and
    (iv) (b) In the case of a suit against the Federal Government relating to the affairs of a Railway, the vice-Chairman of the Railway concerned,

    4. Law Relating of Suit against Government or Public Officer

    A suit may be instituted against government or public officer in respect or any act, purporting to be done by such officer in his left at the office of such officer and after the expiration of two months next, from the date of delivering such notice.

    (i) Signing of Plaint and written statement
    In any suit by or against government, plaint or written statement should be signed by the person, whom government appoints in this behalf through general or special order.

    (ii) Verification of Plaint and written statement
    In any suit by or against government, plaint or written statement should be verified by that person, whom government appoints in this behalf through general or special order and who is familiar with facts of case.

    (iii) Contents of notice
    In notice must be written name, description of place of residence of the plaintiff and the relief which he claims.

    (iv) Fixing of day for appearance on behalf of Government
    In fixing day for government to answer plaint, court should allow reasonable time for necessary communication with government through proper channel and for issuance of instructions to government pleader to appear and answer on behalf of Government. Even court possesses discretion to extend such time.

    (v) Extension of time
    When defendant is public officer and he considers it proper to make a reference to government before answering plaint and he applies for extension of time so that he can make such reference and can receive orders, court should extend time for answering to plaint.

    (vi) Procedure in suits against Public officer
    If government undertakes defense of some suit against public officer, government pleader should apply to court at the time when he is furnished with authority to appear and answer plaint. And court should enter note of his authority in register of civil suits. But if such application is not filed, case should be proceeded as suit between private parties.

    5. Law Relating Execution Proceeding by or against Government or Public officer

    Under the Civil Procedure Code, explain the following

    (i) Time for execution of Decree
    When decree is against some public officer in respect of that act, which he has done in his official capacity, time should be specified in decree within which decree should be satisfied.

    (ii) Reporting of case
    When such decree is not satisfied within specified time, court should report case for orders of provincial government.

    (iii) Execution after reporting of case
    Execution should not be issued on any such decree unless it remains unsatisfied for period of three months, and this period is computed from that date when case is reported for order of provincial government.

    Conclusion

    To conclude, it can be stated that public officer is not liable to arrest or his property is not liable to attachment in that suit, which is filed against him in his official capacity. However, he can be liable to arrest or his property can be liable to attachment in execution of decree.
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    Item Reviewed: Suit against Government or Public Officer Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Usman Ali
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