Himachal Pradesh High Court: Jyotsna Rewal Dua J., dismissed the appeal on ground of impugned judgment/orders being devoid of any infirmity.

The facts in a nutshell are that three ladies are claiming themselves to be the legally wedded wives of late Sh. Prem Chand and therefore entitled to his service benefits. Suit filed by one of them i.e. L1 and opposed by the other two L2 and L3, has been decreed by the learned Trial Court. This decree has been affirmed by the learned First Appellate Court. Aggrieved, the other two ladies are before this Court by way of second appeal based on important question of law that whether the Courts by way of impugned judgment misconstrued or misinterpreted the pleadings and evidence in finding out as to who is the legally wedded wife and children of the deceased.

Counsel Nimish Gupta and Vinod Thakur represented the appellants and Counsel Surinder Saklani, H.S. Rangra, Amit Dhumal, and. Manoj Bagga represented the respondents.

Submissions by L2

Neither was L2 able to show any proper documentary proof validating her claims of being legally wedded wife nor her children able to proof themselves as legal representatives of the deceased. She relied on entry of her name as the nominee in the service record of the deceased however no contemporary evidence was presented validating the same. The fact that no pandit was involved during her marriage with the deceased and that she couldn’t attend funeral of the deceased vitiates her claims further.

 Submissions by L3

L3 also failed to show any proper documentary evidence validating her claim infact she even admitted that she made no objection or complaint regarding one other man working as a sweeper in HRTC Mandi whose details reflects L3 as his wife and her children as his own.

Submissions by L1

 L1 substantiated her claim by showing negatives of wedding pictures as well as pandit who performed the marriage rites , Jamabandi Record, Panchayat Record affidavits which clearly show that deceased and L1 applied for their wedding to be registered along with Legal Heirs Certificate validating the claim of her children as the legal representatives of the deceased.

The Court observed that a second appeal only lies on a substantial question of law. It is not open to re-agitate facts or to call upon the High Court to re-analyze or re-appreciate evidence in a second appeal. Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure restricts the right of second appeal only to those cases, where a substantial question of law is involved.

The Court held that all the aspects in the instant second appeal and cross objection are purely factual. No substantial question of law arises in this appeal or cross-objections.

In view of the above, the appeal stands dismissed and disposed off.[Shanta Devi v. Kaushalya Devi, 2020 SCC OnLine HP 1828, decided on 01-10-2020]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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