What is the procedure in a suit to be filed against the government? (2017)

What is the procedure in a suit to be filed against the government? (2017)

Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that except as otherwise provided in sub-section (2). no suit shall be instituted against the Government (including the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir), or against a public officer in respect of any act purporting to be done by such public officer in his officially capacity, until the expiration of two months next after notice in writing has been delivered to or left at the office of—

(a) In the case of a suit against the Central Government except where it relates to a railway, a Secretary to the Government;

(b) In the case of a suit against the Central Government where it relates to a railway, the General Manager or that railway;

(bb) in the case of a suit against the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Secretary to the Government or any other officer authorised by the Government in this behalf;

(c) in the case of a suit against any other State Government, a Secretary to that Government or the Collector of the district, and in the case of the public officer, delivered to him or left at his office, stating the cause of action, the name, description and place of residence of the plaintiff and the relief which he claims, and the plaint shall contain a statement that such notice has been so delivered or left. [S. 80 (1)].

The notice to a public officer is necessary only if the suit is in respect of an act done by the officer purporting to be done in his official capacity, but if the suit relates to an act done by him in his individual capacity no notice is required.

Under the Amendment Act, 1976, sub-sections (2) and (3). discussed below, have been added to S. 80.

A suit to obtain an urgent or immediate relief against the Government (including the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir) or any public officer in respect of any act purporting to be done by such public officer in his official capacity may be instituted, with the leave of the court, without serving any notice as required by sub-section (1); but the court shall not grant relief in the suit, whether interim or otherwise, except after giving to the Government or public officer, as the case may be, a reasonable opportunity of showing cause in respect of the relief prayed for in the suit : Provided that the court shall, if it is satisfied, after hearing the parties, that no urgent or immediate relief need be granted in the suit, return the F10
plaint for presentation to it after complying with the requirements of sub-section (1). [S. 80 (2)].

No suit instituted against the Government or against a public officer in respect of any act purporting to be done by such public officer in his official capacity shall be dismissed merely by reason of any error or defect in the notice referred to in sub-section (1), if in such notice—

(a) The name, description and the residence of the plaintiff had been so given as to enable the appropriate authority or the public officer to identify the person serving the notice and such notice had been delivered or left at the office of the appropriate authority specified in sub-section (1), and

(b) The cause of action and the relief claimed by the plaintiff had been substantially indicated. [S. 80 (3)].


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