High Court cannot dismiss second appeal in limine without assigning any reasons: SC

Supreme Court: In a case where the Orissa High Court had not assigned any reasons for the dismissal of an appeal, the bench of SA Nazeer* and Krishna Murari, JJ has set aside the said order and has held that the High Court cannot dismiss the second appeal in limine without assigning any reasons for its conclusion.

In an eviction suit, a second appeal was filed before the High Court and the High Court dismissed the said appeal in limine. The order of the Court read as under:

“Considering the submission made herein and going through the question of law, this Court does not find any question of law for admitting the Second Appeal for which the Second Appeal stands dismissed.”

The Supreme Court took the opportunity to explain the provision under Section 100 of the CPC which provides for a right of second appeal by approaching a High Court and invoking its aid and interposition to redress error(s) of the subordinate court, subject to the limitations provided therein. Sub-section (1) of Section 100 of the CPC states that a second appeal would be entertained by the High Court only when the High Court is satisfied that the case ‘involves a substantial question of law’. Once the High Court is satisfied, after hearing the appeal, that the appeal involves a substantial question of law, it has to formulate that question and direct issuance of notice to the respondent.

Further, in case the appeal does not involve any substantial question of law, the High Court has no other option but to dismiss the appeal. However, in order to come to a conclusion that the appeal does not involve any substantial of law, the High Court has to record the reasons.

“Giving reasons for the conclusion is necessary as it helps the adversely affected party to understand why his submissions were not accepted. The Court must display its conscious application of mind even while dismissing the appeal at the admission stage.”

It was, hence, held that the High Court cannot dismiss the second appeal in limine without assigning any reasons for its conclusion.

[Hasmat Ali v. Amina Bibi, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1142, decided on 29.11.2021]

*Judgment by: Justice SA Nazeer

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