Requirement of notice under section 80 CPC

February 1, 2024
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The legal landscape in India is characterized by a myriad of statutes and a procedural rule aimed at ensuring justice is served equitably. One such procedural requirement that plays a crucial role in the realm of civil litigation is the notice under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC). This notice acts as a prerequisite for filing a suit against the government or a public officer for actions performed in their official capacity.

What is Notice under Section 80 CPC?

In essence, the notice under Section 80 CPC serves as a legal intimation to the government or public officer, notifying them of the intent to file a suit. It provides an opportunity for the authorities to assess the legitimacy of the claim and explore possibilities for resolution outside the courtroom. This pre-litigation stage aims to promote fairness, transparency, and efficiency in addressing disputes involving the government.

Requirement of Notice under Section 80 CPC:

Section 80 of the CPC stipulates a mandatory requirement for serving a notice to the government or a public officer before initiating legal proceedings against them. The primary objective behind this provision is to provide an opportunity for the concerned authorities to review the grievance, potentially leading to an amicable resolution without the need for protracted litigation.

This mandatory notice serves as a legal safeguard, allowing government bodies and public officials to address the concerns raised by the aggrieved party before being subjected to the rigors of a court trial. Failure to comply with the notice requirement may result in the dismissal of the suit.

Notice under Section 80 CPC is Mandatory:

It is imperative to underscore that the notice under Section 80 CPC is not merely a procedural formality but a substantive requirement that must be strictly adhered to. The courts have consistently held that non-compliance with this mandatory provision is fatal to the maintainability of the suit. The Supreme Court, in the landmark case of State of Madras v. C.P. Sarathy, emphasized the mandatory nature of Section 80 notices, stating that any suit filed without adhering to this requirement is liable to be dismissed.

The courts have consistently upheld the principle that the issuance of a valid notice under Section 80 CPC is a condition precedent to the institution of a suit against the government or public officers. This strict stance underscores the significance of this procedural step in the legal process.

Section 80 CPC Notice Format:

The format of the notice under Section 80 CPC is prescribed by the statute itself. It must be in writing and delivered to the appropriate authority or officer. The notice should explicitly state the nature of the grievance, the relief sought, and the grounds on which the claim is based. Courts have emphasized the need for precision and clarity in drafting the notice to ensure that the recipient can comprehend the allegations and respond appropriately.

Case Laws:

State of Madras v. C.P. Sarathy – In this seminal case, the Supreme Court emphasized the mandatory nature of Section 80 notices, highlighting that non-compliance leads to the dismissal of the suit.

Ramesh Chandra Agrawal v. Regency Hospital Ltd. – The High Court in this case clarified that even a slight deviation from the prescribed format of the notice could render it invalid, reinforcing the importance of strict compliance.

Union of India v. Kunisetty Satyanarayana – The court held that the notice should be specific and unambiguous, providing adequate details of the grievance to enable the authorities to respond effectively.


In conclusion, the notice under Section 80 CPC is a critical procedural step that cannot be overlooked when contemplating legal action against the government or public officers. Its mandatory nature, coupled with a specific format, underscores its importance in the Indian legal system. As the judiciary continues to uphold the sanctity of this provision, legal practitioners must ensure meticulous compliance to avoid jeopardizing the viability of their suits.

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