On Writing a Judgement: A Simple Model for Learning

1. What is a judgement?

A Judgment is a reasoned pronouncement by a judge on one or more disputed legal questions involved in a case between opposing parties who argued before him with facts and evidence.

A good judgment requires a good hearing by the parties on various aspects of the disputed issues.

2. Ingredients of a judgement as per CPC

As per Order 20 Rule 4(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 (CPC), the ingredients of a judgment need to be a concise statement of the case, the points for determination, the decision thereon, and the reasons for such decision.

A judgement should be a self-contained document from which it should appear as to what the facts of the case were, and what was the controversy which was tried to be settled by the court, and in what manner.

The process of reasoning by which the court concluded regarding the dispute and arrive at a decree should be narrated clearly in the judgment.

3. Broad framework of a judgement

  1. The judgement, in a case, should begin by stating what the suit (or crime) is, in its first paragraph.
  2. Secondly, it should take what the plaintiff’s case is, based on the plaint.
  3. Thirdly, it should States the defendant’s case, based on the written statement.
  4. Fourthly, it should state the issues framed / settled by the court for trial, hearing, and judgement.
  5. Fifthly it should state a brief account of evidence gathered from the witnesses and the admitted documents or other objects.
  6. The sixth paragraph should focus on specific discussion on evidence and the evaluation of it on each issue, framed by the court.
  7. The last paragraph must carry the court’s judgement and decree spelling out the reliefs and cost ordered by the court.

4. A model judgement: Based on the above framework

What the suit is for: The suit is primarily for specific performance of contract for sale of landed property, and alternatively for the return of advance payment with interest thereon.

The plaintiff’s case: The plaintiff pleads that the defendant is the owner of the plaint schedule property of 1 hectare of land in Thiruvananthapuram village, which he offered to sell it to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff accepted the offer and made an advance payment of Rs one lakh to the defendant as part of the sale consideration of Rs 15 lakh. The defendant executes an agreement for sale of the property to the plaintiff to be done within 3 months from the date of advance payment, the 15th January 2023. Therefore, the sale deed was to be executed at on or before 15 April 2023 by paying the balance amount of Rs 14 lakh.

The plaintiff sends a legal notice on 1st April 2023 requesting the defendant to execute the sale deed on 10th April 23 or another convenient date sufficiently before the deadline, expressing his readiness and willingness to pay the balance amount but the notice returned unclaimed.

Subsequently on 20th April 2023, the plaintiff sent a notice asking the respondent to return the advance amount paid with interest but the notice was also returned unclaimed.

Therefore, the plaintiff was constrained to approach this honourable court to plead for specific performance of the contract and alternatively for return of the advance amount of Rs one lakh with interest.

The defendant’s case: The defendant’s case, on the other hand, is that the suit is not maintainable. The reason he stated is that he has never offered to sell the property to the plaintiff.

The defendant admitted that he entered into an agreement for sale with the plaintiff for the amount stated therein as advance by showing the land as a security for the loan amount he took from the plaintiff.

Therefore, the agreement was made with no intention to convey the property to the plaintiff but only to serve as security. The defended was and is ready and willing to pay back the advance with interest.

Therefore, the plaintiff is not entitled to performance of the contract and hence the suit may be dismissed.

The issues framed: –

The issues that the court settled in this case for trial, hearing and judgement are:

  1. Is the suit maintainable?
  2. Whether the defendant entered into a legally valid agreement to sell the plaint schedule property and received advance payment from the plaintiff?
  3. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to a degree for Specific Performance of Contract for sale with respect to the plaint schedule property?
  4. Is plaintiff is entitled to get back the advance payment from the defendant, and if so, at what rate of interest?

The evidence collected in general

The evidence in this case consists of oral testimony of PW1 and DW1, and exhibits A1 to A3, B1 and B2.

The plaintiff first examined as PW1 and the defendant as DW1.

Exhibit A1 is the agreement executed between the plaintiff and the defendant. No other evidence is brought before the court for examination.

Discussion on evidence

Issue no 1

The plaintiff files the suit for specific performance of contract for sale of immovable property along with an alternate relief for the return of advance money with interest. The agreement entered between the parties has been produced. Therefore, the suit is maintainable

Issues ii to iv

The plaintiff and defendant are neighbours and relatives. The plaint schedule property is a portion of the residential plot of the defendant. Execution of Ext A1 Agreement is admitted by both sides. Acceptance of Rs one lakh by the defended defendant also has been admitted by both.

The plaintiff deposed before the court that he paid rupees one lakh to the defendant on 1st November 2022 as advance for purchasing the plaint schedule property and executed Ext A1 Agreement for purchasing the plaint schedule property.

As per the agreement sale has to be executed before 15th April 2023. The plaintiff on 1st April 2023, sent a registered notice expressing his readiness and willingness to pay the balance amount of Rs 14 lakh and get the sale deed executed. But curiously the notice was returned as unclaimed.

The defendant, as DW 1, deposed before the court that he received Rs one lakh as loan. But he claimed that it was not an advance for sale. The defendant executed Ext A1 agreement in favour of the plaintiff as a security for the repayment of the loan and the amount of advance was meant to be returned with 15 per cent interest as orally agreed to.

However, when the defendant approached the plaintiff, he was unwilling to settle the loan by taking the amount and interest back. The defendant has no intention to sell the property at the time of the execution of the agreement.

I also find that the defended had no intention and agreement to sell the property. Therefore, the defended is liable to return the advent amount to the plaintiff with 15% interest from the date of payment.

Relief and cost

In the result, the plaintiff is given a decree for Rs one lakh with 15% interest from the date of payment till today, and 12% from today till realisation against the defendant and the amount will remain as a charge on the property till it is paid to the plaintiff. Parties are to bear their respective cost. The payment will have to be completed within 3 months

Dictated to the Confidential A, transcribed, and typed by him, corrected by me, and pronounced in the open court, n this the 10th day of August 2023.


Sub Judge

District Court Complex