All the cases have the plaintiff's name first and and defendent's name after it ( as in Mohiri Bibi v. Dharmodas Ghose). But there's a case wherein the defendant's name comes first ( in: Khwaja Muhammad Khan v. Husaini Begum). Why so?

  • (1) The tag "contract-law" is misleading, since the question is only about caption of a case and has nothing to do with contract law. (2) In some jurisdictions, caption starts with the appellant's (rather than plaintiff's) name. (3) It could be that there are two unrelated lawsuits between the same parties, except that each party is plaintiff in one case and defendant in the other. The lack of detail in your question makes it very hard (if not impossible) to ascertain whether your question truly is about one same case. May 26, 2019 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


The custom is that the person who brings the case is named first. This will be the plaintiff in a civil case. But when the plaintiff wins, and the defendant appeals, the case in the appeals court may have that person (often referred to in older cases as the "defendant appellant") named first. More recent practice is to keep the name of the case the same. But it used to be considered a separate case with a separate name in some jurisdictions.

In any event, this is merely a custom, and not a law. The court has discretion to name cases as it chooses in its judgements, and if a court chooses for whatever reason to follows a practice that differs from the usual one, that is the name of that particular case.

Without a full citation or a link, so that the actual opinion could be consulted, three is no way to know what reason, if any, there was for the order of parties in the particular case mentioned in the question. A quick Google search did not turn up the case.

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