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How to Study the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 for Judiciary?

Hey, aspirants! Welcome to Lawctopus’ Judiciary Corner.

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) is one of the procedural laws of the country and governs all civil suits.

However, it is not a secret that students find it boring and hard to understand compared to other laws. Like it or not, it constitutes a large portion of the syllabus in judicial exams. And not only that, the entry-level judge must be well-equipped with the provisions of The Code of Civil Procedure.

So, we have multiple reasons for reading CPC diligently. Right?

To make your judicial preparation smooth, we have formulated a perfect strategy that you can incorporate into your study schedule to understand the complexity of CPC.

After reading the rest of the article, we can guarantee that clouds of confusion will surely go away.

Let’s begin!

Background of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

It is the most crucial step in learning any law. Aspirants need to know the background of the Act. Although no question will ever come from the historical background of CPC, it is for your learning only.

The first uniform Code of Civil Procedure enacted was in the year 1859. Before that, no law governed civil procedure in India. After many amendments and revisions, the Code of Civil Procedure was enacted in 1882.

However, draft makers discovered that in a few matters, the code was rigid. Also, there were conflicts of judicial opinions regarding the interpretation of specific provisions.

Thus, a Select Committee was established to examine and collect valuable material on the subject. Sir Earle Richards was the head of the Special Committee that assessed the draft bill (CPC that we know today).

Finally, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, came into effect.

How to Study the Code of Civil Procedure

Structure of the Code

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 consists of 158 sections and 51 Orders and Rules. Till 2016, a total of 70 amendments have happened in the Code of Civil Procedure.

The objective of the code defined says it is “An Act to consolidate and amend the laws relating to the procedure of the Courts of Civil Judicature.”

Correlating Sections and Orders

Reading CPC is no joke & barely memorizing the Sections and Orders is not enough to crack the judicial services examination.

The biggest mistake an aspirant can make while learning CPC is not correlating the provisions. It is unwise to assume that sections and orders need individual preparation. Read them together for better understanding.

See the table below to understand what we mean by reading the Orders and Sections in correlation with each other.

Sections Orders
S. 26- Institution of Suits O.IV- Institution of Suits
S.114 Review O. XLVII- Review
S.33 Judgment and Decree O. XX -Judgment and Decree

Could you spot any similarities?
We can see from the table above that sections and orders are related. How sections will be implemented or governed is mentioned in the orders.

In order to successfully remember what you read, the aspirant needs to study the sections and orders simultaneously. If you read the sections and orders in isolation, you will not understand the civil procedure.

So, instead of reading the Bare Act from section 1, start with definitions and concepts. After that, analyze the code in chronological order in which a suit is heard and disposed of.

Chronological Order of CPC

When a dispute arises, there are two parties to a suit Order I
After that, a suit is framed Order II
For filing a suit before a court, parties need recognized agents and pleaders Order III
Then the suit is instituted by presenting a plaint. Order IV
After the institution of suits, the process of issue and service of summons begins. Order V
For saving the precious time of the court, We have rules of pleading Order VI
Pleadings for Plaintiff are plaints Order VII
Pleadings for Defendant are called Written statements Order VIII
After issuance of summons, parties appear before the Court. Order IX
The Court examines the parties Order X
If it does not understand the facts presented by the parties, it can ask for further clarification. (Order XI, XII, XIII)
Court frames the issues (Order XIV)
If the court finds that there is nothing to be proved or no issue exists, it can dispose of the suit in the first hearing Order XV
If that doesn’t happen, the proceeding continues, & witnesses appear. Order XVI
For whatsoever reason, if parties don’t appear on the date of hearing, adjournment is granted Order XVII
Witness Examination Order XVIII
Submission of evidence by way of Affidavit Order XIX
After the examination of witnesses and evidence, the court pronounces judgment Order XX
Because it is a civil suit, the cost is awarded to the winning party Order XXA
In the end, a decree or judgment is executed by the party Order-XXI

Court procedure mentioned in detail from Order 1 to 21. To understand how it decides the civil cases, one should know the content of the orders accurately.

Study Civil Procedure Code for Preliminary Stage

During the preliminary stage, to prepare CPC, aspirants need to study from Bare Acts and highlight keywords in each section. Also, take a look at the previous years’ question papers and understand the type and language of the questions.

During prelims examination, the focus should be on Bare Acts, keywords, Sections, and Order numbers. There is no need to go deep into the subject. The goal is to qualify for the exam.

Many states like Delhi, Haryana, and Uttarakhand have negative markings. Aspirants need to make sure that they don’t tick the incorrect answer in the exam. For that, it is essential to take mock tests. Weekly and monthly Mock tests will prepare the aspirant in improving speed and accuracy.

Study Civil Procedure Code for Mains examination

In written examinations, situation-based questions frequently come. Take the 2014 Uttarakhand Judicial Services Examination question on CPC down below as an example:

“On the basis of the title, ‘A’ for the possession of land, filed a suit against ‘B’. The suit is decreed. In suit ‘B’ did not claim that he was entitled to compensation for improvements made on the land. Can ‘B’ file a fresh suit for compensation? Answer with reasons.”

As we can see, questions are no longer theory-based but rather test the aspirant’s knowledge of the law and how well they apply it. To answer such questions, aspirants need to know the law inside out.

Each section needs deep and analytically study for the aspirant to write convincing reasoning. Apart from that, aspirants should mention the leading case laws of each topic of CPC. It will give your answer an edge over the others.


The Code of Civil Procedure is not an easy document that aspirants can read and revise a day before the exam. With so many provisions and orders, aspirants need to read the Code of Civil Procedure each day like a bible. The more they will read, the better they will understand the subject.
Reading, Revising, and attempting mock tests are three pillars to understand CPC.

Disclaimer: We try to ensure that the information we post on Lawctopus is accurate. However, despite our best efforts, some of the content may contain errors. You can trust us, but please conduct your own checks too.

Source: Lawctopus

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