Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: The Bench of Sujit Narayan Prasad, J. disposed of a petition seeking to make amendment in the plaint as stipulated under schedule to the petition.

To state the facts briefly the petitioner had filed for declaration of right and title over the suit property in which the respondents had appeared and filed written statements. Also a petition under Order 6 Rule 17 has been filed for incorporating in the plaint: “during the pendency of the suit the defendant on the strength of lathis and muscle man encroached suit land and constructed house over the portion of the suit land illegally which is liable to be removed by the process of the court.”

The trial Court was of the opinion that such amendment would change the nature of the suit since the amendment that was sought for was in the nature of seeking a direction for removing the defendant from the land while the suit was for a declaration of right and title over the land in question. Also, the fact that the petitioner had knowledge of the said encroachment was considered by the Court.

The Court placed reliance on Mani Nariman Daruwala v. Phiroz N. Bhatena, (1991) 3 SCC 141 and Laxmikant Revchand Bhojwani v. Pratapsing Mohansingh Pardeshiv, (1995) 6 SCC 576, while enumerating the principles of exercising the jurisdiction of superintendence under Article 227 of the Constitution. And further held that, “In exercise of its power of superintendence High Court cannot interfere to correct mere errors of law or fact or just because another view than the one taken by the tribunals or courts subordinate to it, is a possible view. In other words, the jurisdiction has to be very sparingly exercised”. Also opined that, in the scope of Order 6 Rule 17 and the scope of Article 227 of the Constitution of India, the order needs no interference since there is no error apparent on the face of the record. [Shyam Sunder Saw v. Manoj Yadav, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 233, Order dated 04-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: The Court recently dismissed a revision petition assailing the order of Addl. District Judge noting that in supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court, over subordinate Courts, the scope of judicial review is very limited and narrow. The order assailed by the petitioner was a consented order and the counsel on behalf of the petitioner could not point out any error apparent on the face of record in the impugned orders so as to justify interference by the Court.

The Bench of Mahesh Chandra Tripathi, J. observed that the supervisory jurisdiction of a High Court involves a duty on the High Court to keep the inferior courts and tribunals within the bounds of their authority and to see that they do what their duty requires and that they do it in a legal manner. At the same time, he cautioned its use stating that this power does not vest the High Court with any unlimited prerogative to correct all species of hardship or wrong decisions made within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Court or Tribunal and therefore, it must be restricted to grave derelictions of duty and flagrant abuse of fundamental principle of law or justice.

The court further referred to various Apex Court judgments stating the same and relied on the case of Mohd. Yunus v. Mohd. Mustaqim,  (1983) 4 SCC 566 in which the Supreme Court observed that the supervisory jurisdiction conferred on the High Courts under Article 227 of the Constitution is limited “to seeing that an inferior Court or Tribunal functions within the limits of its authority,” and not to correct an error apparent on the face of the record, or anything that is much less than an error of law. Accordingly, the petition stood dismissed for the reason that there was no error of law much less an error apparent on the face of the record in the assailed orders. [Brij Kishor Trivedi v. Kanpur Development Authority Thru Secy,  2017 SCC OnLine All 2513, decided on 5.12.2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur: Recently, a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution was filed before the High Court against the order of the court below to reject an application filed by petitioners under S. 45 of the Evidence Act. On going through the facts of the case, the proceedings till now and contentions of counsel from both the sides, the Court concluded that the sole question in the present case is that despite delay whether S. 45 application can be entertained or not.

The Court referred to L.S.Trading Co. v. Manish Mishra2010 SCC OnLine MP 213 : (2010) 4 MP LJ 228 in which it has been observed that the application under S. 45, Evidence Act cannot be rejected only on the ground of delay. The Court further on relating the reference to the facts of the present case observed that the delay alone is not the ground in this case for reject the application of the petitioner and conduct of the petitioner had also played a significant role for the same as the petitioners had themselves rejected a similar application earlier filed by the opposite party.

Further, the Court highlighted the point of law relating to its jurisdiction as to that the interference under Article 227 of the Constitution can be made if order is passed by the court without authority of law or it suffers from any manifest procedural impropriety or palpable perversity. It further held that interference cannot be made mere on a drop of hat and reiterated the stance of the Apex Court in various judgments that mere error of fact or law alone is not sufficient for interference. The Bench of Sujoy Paul, J. finally dismissed the petition stating that it would not act as a bull in a China shop. [Narendra Singh v. Gurmel Kaur,  2017 SCC OnLine MP 1358, decided on 07.11.2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court:  The Court had to decide on a petition  under Article 227 of the Constitution, challenging the order passed by Family Court, Jabalpur in 2014 where the trial court dismissed the application preferred by the petitioner under Order 16 Rule 1 CPC that mandates the filing of list of witnesses before the Court.

The petitioner had filed the divorce petition against the respondent under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act and during its pendency, the petitioner had filed application under Order 16 Rule 1 CPC for summoning the witness of other party which was dismissed by the trial court. The Judge heard both the parties and the order passed by the trial court and observed that the trial court had rejected the application as the case was pending for recording the statement of witnesses for last two years.

The Court noticed that the trial court neither suffered from any jurisdictional infirmity nor any error apparent on the face of record warranting interference in exercise of Article 227 of the Constitution. It was further held referring to Jai Singh v. MCD, (2010) 9 SCC 385 and Shalini Shyam Shetty v. Rajendra Shankar Patil, (2010) 8 SCC 329 that Article 227 of the Constitution cannot be exercised to correct all errors of a judgment of court acting within its limitation and can be exercised where the orders are passed in grave dereliction of duty or in flagrant abuse of fundamental principles of law and justice. Accordingly, the Judge dismissed the petition for being devoid of any merit. [Rahul Jain v. Namrata Jain, 2017 SCC OnLine MP 327, decided on 20.02.2017]