SC: Jurisdiction of HC in Second Appeal Confined only to Questions Framed u/S 100 of CPC

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May 16, 2018

Case name: Vijay Arjun Bhagat & Ors. v. Nana Laxman Tapkire & ors.

Date of Judgment: May 11, 2018

In this recent case, the Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court delved into the law relating to second appeal as enumerated under Section 100 of CPC.

Section 100 of CPC  provides for appeals from appellate decrees. The statutory provision categorically states that an appeal shall lie to the High Court from a decree, if the High Court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law.

The issue raised in the instant case was that the High Court while deciding and eventually allowing the   second   appeal   did   not   follow   the   mandatory procedure as prescribed under Section 100 of CPC.

The Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court while ruling that the High Court erred in allowing the second appeal made the following observations with reference to statutory provision under Section 100 of CPC:

  • That under Section 100 of CPC, once the High Court is satisfied after hearing the appellant or his Counsel as the case may be that the appeal involves a substantial question of law, it has to formulate that question and then direct issuance of notice to the Respondent of the memo of appeal along   with   the   question   of   law framed by the High Court.
  • That the jurisdiction of the High Court to decide the second appeal is confined only to the question   framed   by   the   High   Court   under   sub section (4).
  • With reference to the facts of the instant case, the Apex Court stated that the High Court admitted the   second   appeal   and   framed   six   substantial questions of law. Thus, the High   Court   was,   therefore,   required   to decide the second appeal only on the six formulated substantial questions of law as provided under subsection (5) of Section 100 of CPC.
  • That the High Court instead of   deciding   the   second   appeal   on   thesix substantial question of law framed at the time of admission allowed the appeal on two additional substantial questions of law which were neither framed by the High Court at the time of admission of the second appeal nor at the time of hearing the second appeal.
  • That for deciding on additional substantial questions of law  three conditions are to be fulfilled- first “such questions should arise in the appeal”, secondly “reasons shall be assigned for framing the additional questions” and thirdly “frame the questions at the time of hearing the appeal.”
  • That the appellants  suffered from the adverse order as they had no knowledge about framing of the two additional questions inasmuch as they were deprived of the opportunity to address the Court on the two additional questions on which the impugned judgment was founded.

In view of the aforesaid observations, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal and remanded the case to the High Court for deciding the appeal afresh on merits.

The entire case can be accessed here.