Who is an Indigent Person and how is it different from a Suit?

If the indigent person fails in suit, the Court fee shall be paid by him. The Collector is empowered by law to recover the Court fee as arrears of land Revenue.

Who is an indigent person:

Order 33 of C.P.C. deals with the indigent person.

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Definition of indigent person:

A person is an “Indigent person” if-

(i) He is not possessed of sufficient means to enable him to pay the fee prescribed by law for filing the plaint in a suit, or

(ii) Where no such fee is prescribed, when he is not entitled to property worth one thousand rupees.

Procedure to file a suit as indigent person:

(a) Every application for permission to sue as an indigent person should contain the following particulars-

(i) The particulars required in regard to plaint in suits;

(ii) A schedule of any movable or immovable property belonging to the applicant with the estimated value thereof; and

(iii) Signature and verification ;

(iv) The application to be presented by the applicant to the Court in person.

Inquiring of the application:

Upon inquiring of the application if and after examination of the applicants and the witnesses, the Court may either grant the application to sue in forma pauperis (indigent person), or reject the application.

Dispaupering:

An order granting leave to sue as an indigent person does not operate as ‘res judicata’ on the following grounds the Court can dispauper the applicant.

1. If he is guilty of vexations or improper conduct in the cause of the suit;

or

2. If it appears that his means are such that he ought not to continue to sue as an indigent person; or

3. If he has entered into an agreement under which another person has obtained an interest in the subject matter of the suit.

Difference between suit by plaintiff and a suit by an indigent person:

A plaintiff who files the suit by presentation of plaint pays the required Court fee along with plaint. Whereas, the person filing a suit as indigent person as to obtain the permission of the competent Court to file a suit as forma pauperis (indigent person). If the indigent person succeeds the Court.

Government shall have the first charge over the fruits of the suit to recover Court fee from the indigent person.