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Suit for declaration is the most common and effective types of civil suits filed by Indian lawyers. It seeks the relief of declaration and injunction on the basis of the declaration of the court. Suit for declaration is a declaration from the court on any issue by way of a decree of the court. The relief of injunction in a suit for declaration is the consequential relief in most cases. Suit for declaration thus can resolve any claim or counter claim between the parties with regard to any dispute on the basis of the declaration made by the court.
Section 34 and 35 of the Specific Relief Act lay down the law relating to declaratory decrees. A declaratory decree is a decree declaratory of a right which is doubtful or which requires to be cleared or pronounced by the courts in favour of the person approaching the court. The object of the declaratory decrees is to prevent future litigation by removing the existing cause of the controversy. In other words, if a cloud is cast upon the title or legal character of the rights of the plaintiff in any manner, he is entitled to seek the aid of the court to dispel it by way of a suit for declaration. The court considers the rival contentions and passes a decree of declaration establishing the rights of the parties to the suit.
Provision of law related to suit for declaration:
Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act lays down the circumstances under which a declaratory decree may be passed. It provides:
“Discretion of court as to declaration of status or right—Any person entitled to any legal character, or to any right as to any property, may institute a suit against any person denying or interested to deny, his title to such character or right, and the court may in its discretion make therein a declaration that he is so entitled, and the plaintiff need not in such suit ask for any further relief:
Provided that no court shall make any such declaration where the plaintiff, being able to seek further relief than a mere declaration of title, omits to do so.
Explanation—a trustee of property is a ‘person interested to deny’ a title adverse to the title of someone who is not in existence, and for whom, if in existence, he would be a trustee.”
Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act does not sanction every kind of declaration but only a declaration that the plaintiff is entitled to any legal character or to any property. It is not a matter of absolute right to obtain a declaratory decree and it is discretionary with the court to grant or refuse to grant it.”
It is essential for a decree under Section 34, Specific Relief Act, that the plaintiff must be entitled to any legal character to any right to property. ‘Legal character’ is a position recognized by law, and a person’s legal character is made up of the attributes which law attaches to him in his individual and personal capacity and the phrase is synonymous with the word ‘status’. It includes the right of franchise and the right of election.
It may be observed that the words ‘legal character’ and ‘to any right as to any property’ are separated by the disjunctive ‘or’ and, therefore the plaintiff can maintain a suit for a mere declaration, if, he can show that he is entitled to any legal character, even though he cannot lay an immediate claim to any property.
Suit for the declaration is filed before the civil judge or the Munsif as it is called in some courts. The court thereafter considers the rights and contentions of both the parties on the basis of their pleadings and evidence and passes a decree of declaration if satisfied with the claim of the Plaintiff or denies the same.
The entire process of suit for the declaration is governed by the code of civil procedure as we call it or the CPC which has many stages as a civil suit. The decree is, therefore, a declaration of the rights of the parties.
It is always advisable and wise to engage the services of best civil lawyers for conducting the suit for declaration as such declaration has wide ranging effects on the rights of the parties.
We have in-house team of expert civil lawyers in India for drafting and filing of suit for declaration. Mail us through contact us page of our website for any services of lawyers for suit for declaration.