What is the Process of Discovery in Indian Courts?

by  Adv. Rupa K.N  




3 mins


Process of Discovery


It is often observed in the movies that one of the parties during the trial proceedings in the code presents surprising evidence in front of the judges. But that is only limited to movies; This does not happen in real life. In real-life court proceedings, the concept of fairness is valued, and both parties have to submit their evidence before the proceedings of the court so that the defendant can give the strongest argument in their favour against the evidence which is going to be presented. For example, In the cases of will, the parties have to share information with each other regarding the same. 

In order to bring this fairness in the court trial, the process of discovery is introduced in law. All the matters related to the court trial are subject to legal consultation.

What is the Process of Discovery?

  • The process of Discovery is a procedural part of the law; the extent to which the process of Discovery can be made usually differs on the basis of the facts of a particular given case. 
  • All the process of Discovery helps in evaluating the nature and the complexity of the facts of the case as well as both parties get the opportunity to prepare for it accordingly.
  • In cases that are related to crime, the process of Discovery is more towards the exchange of information, such as the nature of the police report nature and the act of the crime, and, in some cases, the statement given by the accused.

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Nature and Scope of Process of discovery

  • The scope and the ambit of the discovery of the documents are being limited to certain qualifications, and if they are not important or they are redundant, or if they are overly burdensome, then they will not come under the ambit of the section. They would not be termed as the discovery. 
  • So we can understand that it is the procedure just to ask out about the documents which the opposite parties have and upon which the questions are going to be asked in the court so as to be prepared about the cases. 
  • And if the court feels that it is necessary for the party who is asking, then they will allow it, and that would be termed as interrogatories, and documents which are being requested to be available from the opposite party are known as the discovery of the documents.
  • Basically, if we talk about the scope of the section under the code, then it is at the discretion of the court whether the scope of the section will cover this act or the demand to the other party. 
  • This deals with the discovery of any information or evidence or even any fact or documents when it is presented by any party. 
  • It is done with the intervention of the court. Then the other party can seek and request the document or the fact so as to prepare their case, and it is not all of a sudden to be presented by the party having the discovery of any material new fact or evidence. 
  • But it is that it needs to be shared with the opposite party so that they can prepare for the case, but it is through the court that the opposite party needs to request the court for the availability of the document or the fact that is being discovered. 
  • It is up to the court that they decide whether the ambit of the section will be covered and whether the document will be provided to the other party or not, so the scope of this particular provision lies at the discretion of the court and the scope as well.

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Role of Process of Discovery

  • One of the most important roles of the process of discovery is to avoid any ambush at the court proceeding. The process of discovery allows both parties to share their facts, evidence, and documents prior to the court trial. 
  • Another role of the process of discovery is that it does not add burdens on the already burdened judiciary; the process of proceeding the court does not waste time on facts, evidence, and documents cross-checking as everything is done before the proceeding starts. 
  • In cases of unfair investigations, the process of discovery helps both the parties involved in the conflict to re-consider the investigations and the evidence which have been collected. 

The procedure of Process of discovery in Indian law

  • The Civil procedure Code 198 defines the process of discovery as a pre-trial procedure where both parties have been given an opportunity to obtain the evidence from each other, and the process to do the same is laid down. 
    • interrogatories
    • depositions 
    • request for admission
    • request to show documents and inspect them 
  • While concluding the matter, the court will think about the accompanying focuses:
  • Any proposition which might be looked for by the party to be questioned to convey points of interest;
  • To make a confirmation;
  • To create archives related to the issues being referred to; or
  • Any of them.
  • Interrogatories under the Process of discovery 
  • Interrogatories are covered by Section 30 and Order XI Rules 1 through 11, 21, and 22 of the CPC. 
  • It is referred to as “interrogatories” when parties administer a series of questions to the other party with the court’s permission.
  • Interrogatories must only focus on the facts; they cannot include legal conclusions, word choices or document constructions, or inferences based on the facts. 
  • This is referred to as the parties’ “right to acquire information” under CPC. The party to whom the set of questions was addressed must respond in writing and under oath to the other party.
  • When a party discloses the nature of the case with an affidavit in response to interrogatories, this is referred to as “discovery of interrogatories.”

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The process of discovery in the Indian court talks about the concept of fairness. The fairness in terms of providing the defendant ample time and opportunity in order to frame strong arguments against the evidence and facts that the plaintiff has brought in front of the court.

The matters related to the process of discovery are of legal consultation. There are various points that we should keep in mind while filling the cases in the court, such as the nature, scope, procedure, and interrogatories, as mentioned in this article.

In India, the process of discovery in law refers to the production of evidence, documents, and information to the parties in the conflict before the court trial begins. Take online legal advice in matters related to the process of discovery.

Adv. Rupa K.N

Adv. Rupa K.N


5 | 277+ User Reviews

Advocate Rupa K.N, with over 24 years of independent practice, specialises in providing legal expertise, advice and guidance to a broad range of customers. Having been practising law independently for several years after doing her B.A. LLB from Bangalore University and PGDM from the National Institute of Personnel Management.

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