Procedure in Summary Suit


Status as on- 13/12/2022

What is Summary Suit?

A summary suit or summary procedure is provided under order XXXVII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The summary suit is a unique legal procedure used for enforcing a right in an efficacious and efficient manner. This is a procedure used for enforcing a right that takes effect faster than ordinary suits as unlike in ordinary suits the courts do not hear the defense.

The object underlying the summary procedure is to ensure an expeditious hearing and disposal of the suit and to prevent unreasonable obstruction or hindrance by the defendant who has no defense or a frivolous and vexatious defense and to assist in expeditious disposal of cases.

The Order 37 has 7 rules with various sub-rules and clauses making it in itself a complete Code. Rule (2) and (3) of the Order provides the Procedure for the appearance of Defendant.

  • A summary suit is instituted by presenting a plaint in the Civil Court.
  • Then the summons in the next stage is issued on the defendant, in the prescribed form no. 4, accompanied by a copy of the plaint and Annexures.
  • Before entering an appearance before the Court the defendant is required to enter his appearance within 10 days of receipt of summons.
  • On default of the appearance of the defendant within the stipulated time it is assumed that he has admitted the allegations made in the plaint and the plaintiff gets entitled to a final order granting him the sum as mentioned in the plaint along with interest at the specified date and costs if the Court thinks it appropriate. (Rule 2)
  • The plaintiff shall serve the defendant a summons for judgment if he presents himself before the court in the prescribed Form no. “4A)
  • Then, the defendant may apply for leave to defend the suit within 10 days from the date of service of summons.
  • If a defendant has not made an application for leave or such an application has been dismissed or if the defendant doesn’t comply with the conditions based on which the leave was granted the plaintiff becomes entitled to the judgment forthwith.
  • The Court shall not refuse permission to the defendant to defend the suit unless it believes that the disclosure by the defendant does not show that he has any substantial defense to raise or that it is frivolous.
  • Also, where the defendant admits part of the amount claimed by the plaintiff, then the court shall permit the defendant to defend only when such admitted amount is deposited by the defendant in the court.


Summary suits are beneficial to commercial businesses as the plaintiff would be entitled to a judgment if the defendant doesn’t have a substantial defense. Order XXXVII ensures that the defendant does not prolong the litigation. The Gujarat High Court opined that the purpose of enacting summary suits is to boost the confidence in commercial cases that their money claims would be expeditiously decided and their claims will not remain pending for years.

Disclaimer – Please note that the above articles are based on the interpretation of related laws and judicial pronouncement which may differ from person to person. The readers are expected to take the expert opinion on the matter.

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