Sikkim High Court: Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, CJ. allowed a writ petition which was filed assailing the updated Award passed by the Lok Adalat though signed on 26-06-2015.
The facts were that petitioner 1 was the wife of Defendant 1 in the suit and petitioners 2 and 3 were his sons. It was their grievance that they were deserted by defendant 1 and the suit property in which they were residing had been partitioned without joining, noticing them and affording opportunity in violation of the principle of natural justice.
In the said partition suit, a compromise deed dated 22-06-2015 was filed and the respondents only had entered into the compromise partitioning the entire property by collusion and fraud, which originally belonged to Late Kashi Nath Prasad. It was urged by the counsel of respondent that the suit was filed merely to partition of the property which is recorded in the joint name, however, in such a case the claim of the petitioner is through defendant no.1, which is clearly protected by virtue of settlement arrived between the parties of the suit. The Award of the Lok Adalat does not warrant any interference in this petition, therefore, maintaining the Award, the Writ Petition may be dismissed.
The Court after perusing the records and hearing the parties concluded that the issue involved in the present case was squarely decided by the judgment of the Bhargavi constructions v. Kothakapu Murthyam Reddy, Civil appeal no.11345 of 2017 decided on 07-09-2017 and State of Punjab v. Jalour Singh, (2008) 2 SCC 660 the petition under Articles 226 and/or 227 of Constitution of India challenging the Award of the Lok Adalat was tenable. The Court observed that there is no cable of doubt that the Award of the Lok Adalat can be assailed by way of petition under Articles 226 and/or 227 of the Constitution of India.
The Court held that in place of accepting the plea that the compromise by virtue of collusion and fraud and the Award so passed in the same fashion; but in view of the observation so made it is suffice to observe the Award so passed by the Lok Adalat in view of the pleadings of the suit without joining all the parties and without affording an opportunity is not proper. Writ Petition was allowed, the Award passed by the Lok Adalat was set aside.[Munni Devi v. Dul Dul Prasad, 2021 SCC OnLine Sikk 82, decided on 02-07-2021]
Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For Petitioners: Mr Nayan Nepal
For Respondents: Mr J.B. Pradhan, Sr. Advocate Mr D.K. Siwakoti, Ms Prarthana Ghataney, Ms Ranjeeta Kumar