Case BriefsSupreme Court

   

Supreme Court: In a Special leave petition under Article 136 of the Constitution against a judgment passed by the High Court of Karnataka, wherein the court set aside the election of the appellant to the Mysore Municipal Corporation as Councillor, the full bench of Uday Umesh Lalit, CJ., Indira Banerjee* and Ajay Rastogi, JJ. has affirmed the setting aside of the election of the appellant and observed that the non-disclosure of assets would amount to ‘corrupt practices’, entailing disqualification, as evident from Sections 35 and 39(ii) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act, read with Section 123(2) of the Representation of People (RP) Act 1951.

In the present case, the appellant in 2018 filed her nomination for election to the Mysore Municipal Corporation, as Councillor which was reserved for Backward Class-B (Women), along with a declaration by way of an affidavit, furnishing details of the movable and immovable properties held by her as well as her spouse and dependents (Affidavit of Assets). After the elections the appellant was declared as successfully elected Councillor. One of the respondents-an unsuccessful candidate filed an Election Petition under Sections 33 and 34 of the KMC Act, 1976 alleging that the appellant in her Affidavit of Assets, falsely declared that her husband did not possess any immovable property, and that by giving such false declaration, the Appellant had indulged in corrupt practices to get the benefit of reservation under the Category of Backward Class- B.

The Court noted that initially the Trial Court rejected the petition. After that, on appeal, the High Court remanded the election petition back to the Trial Court, for reconsideration. Thereafter, the Trial Court allowed the election petition and set aside the election of the appellant, and the High Court upheld the same.

The Court found on facts that the candidate concerned did not have any subsisting contracts with the State Government, but with entities under the control of the State Government. Thus, the Court held that “the State Government was different from legal or other authorities under its control”. Placing reliance on the ruling in Jyoti Basu v. Debi Ghosal, (1982) 1 SCC 691, wherein the Court held that “except in accordance with Statute, there is no right to elect, be elected or to dispute an election, as approved and reiterated in Shrikant v. Vasantrao, (2006) 2 SCC 682 is well settled”. Thus, it was observed that “an election petition is indisputably a statutory proceeding governed by the statute under which it is filed, or the Statutory Rules framed under that statute”.

Further, it took note of the decision in Shailesh Manubhai Parmar v. Election Commission of India, (2018) 9 SCC 100 wherein the Court held that “even though Article 324 of the Constitution confers wide powers on the Election Commission to take action with a view to ensure a free and fair election, even by assuming the role of an adviser, the power to make law vests in the Parliament under Article 327 of the Constitution. The Parliament is supreme and, therefore, not bound by any advice of the Election Commission”

The Court further viewed that a false declaration regarding the assets of a candidate, his/her spouse or dependents, constitutes corrupt practice irrespective of the impact of such a false declaration on the election of the candidate. It may be presumed that a false declaration impacts the election.

The Court also took note of the relevant provisions of the KMC Act, 1976, governing the election of the appellant, and observed that under Section 39 of the KMC Act, corrupt practices include undue influence. The definition of undue influence in Clause 2 of Section 123 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951, has been incorporated in Section 39(2) of the KMC Act. Further, under Section 27 of the KMC Act, corrupt practices defined in Section 39(2) which includes “undue influence’ entails disqualification from being a Councillor, for six years.

The Court noted that the appellant has admitted that she has made incorrect statements in the affidavit by falsely stating that her husband’s name was ‘Nanjegowda’ instead of stating his real name ‘Madegowda’, and she has stated that her husband did not own any movable or immovable properties although he owned large number of movable properties.

The Court viewed that in Lok Prahari v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 699, the Court interpreted Section 123(2) of the 1951 RP Act and held that “the non-disclosure would amount to ‘undue influence’ as defined under the Representation of People Act”. The definition of ‘undue influence’ as used in Section 123(2) of 1951 RP Act is also adopted by Section 39(2) of the KMC Act. Therefore, the non-disclosure of assets in the municipal elections would also amount to ‘undue influence’ and consequently to ‘corrupt practice’.

Placing reliance on the ruling in Union of India v. Assn. for Democratic Reforms, (2002) 5 SCC 294, the Court rejected the argument of the appellant that the State Election Commission did not have the power to issue the Notifications dated 14.07.2003 and 19.06.2018, making it mandatory for candidates to file affidavits disclosing the assets of their spouses, since there was no such requirement in the KMC Act. Further, it took note of the decision in Krishnamoorthy v. Sivakumar, (2015) 3 SCC 467, wherein the Court upheld a notification of the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission requiring that every candidate contesting elections to a local body, should disclose whether there was any criminal case pending against him.

Moreover, the Court observed that the appellant is estopped from questioning the validity of the notifications or the power of the State Election Commission to issue the same, as these notifications have never been questioned by her, rather, she accepted the notifications as binding on her, and accordingly filed an affidavit.

Further, the Court held that, “as the KMC Act incorporates the definition of undue influence in Section 123(2) of the 1951 RP Act. The judgments of this Court interpreting ‘undue influence’ in Section 123(2) of the 1951, RP Act, would squarely apply to the interpretation of undue influence under Section 39(2) of the KMC Act. Therefore, the non-disclosure of assets would also amount to ‘undue influence’ and consequently to ‘corrupt practices’ under the KMC Act.

Moreover, the Court observed that the question of, whether the Election Commission had power to issue directions to the candidates to file affidavits disclosing the assets of their spouses, in the absence of any specific provision under the KMC Act or the Rules framed thereunder is no longer res integra., as it is squarely covered by the law laid down in Union of India v. Association for Democratic Reforms and Ors. , wherein the Court has directed the Election Commission to secure to voters, inter alia, information pertaining to assets not only of the candidates but also of their spouse and dependents.

The Court also observed that the notification dated 14. 07.2003 was issued pursuant to the judgment in Association for Democratic Reforms (supra), where this Court held that “the Constitution has made comprehensive provision under Article 324 to take care of surprise situations and it operates in areas left unoccupied by legislation.”

Further, it was observed that the language and tenor of Article 243-ZA (1) is in pari materia with Article 324(1) of the Constitution. The Election Commission has wide powers under Article 324(1) of the Constitution of India to issue directions necessary for conducting free and fair elections, subject to the contours of law. The power of the Election Commission includes the power to issue directions where the law is silent. The State Election Commission has the same powers under Article 243-K and 243-ZA (1) as the Election Commission of India has under Article 324(1) of the Constitution of India.

Moreover, the Court observed that in Association for Democratic Reforms (supra) and in Lok Prahari (supra) it was held that for effective exercise of his fundamental right under Article 19(1) (a), the voter is entitled to have all relevant information about candidates at an election which would include criminal antecedents of the candidate, his/her assets and liabilities, educational qualifications, etc. Further, amendment of the KMC Act is exclusively within the domain of the Karnataka State Legislature. However, by placing reliance on the decision in Association for Democratic Reforms (supra), the Court held that “there is no legal or normative impediment for the State Election Commission to issue directions requiring disclosure of assets of the candidate, his/her spouse and dependent associates by way of affidavit“. Thus, by issuing the notification dated 14.07.2003, the Election Commission has not encroached into the legislative domain of the Karnataka State legislature.

The Court also observed that India is a quasi-federal State and while the division of powers between the Union Government and the State Governments is an essential feature of federalism, however, in matters of national importance, without disturbing the division of powers, a uniform policy is essential in the interest of all the states. Further, it was observed that the Election Commission must act within the four corners of law made by the legislature, and held that in the present case the Election Commission has issued the notification dated 14.07.2003 within the contours of law.

Further, the Court viewed that Purity of election at all levels is a matter of national importance in which a uniform policy is desirable in the interest of all the States. A hyper technical view of the omission to incorporate any specific provision in the KMC Election Rules, like the 1961 Rules, expressly requiring disclosure of assets, to condone dishonesty and corrupt practice would be against the spirit of the Constitution and public interest. Thus, the Court found no grounds to set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court affirming the setting aside of the election of the appellant.

[S. Rukmini Madegowda v. State Election Commission, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 1218, decided on 14.09.2022]

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): C. Viswanath (Presiding Member) observed that:

“Conduct of the insured becomes relevant on the facts of each case to ascertain whether the discharge voucher in the full and final settlement was given  voluntarily or there was coercion or undue influence on the Complainant.”

The instant application was filed under Section 19 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s Order.

Complainant had obtained “Standard Fire and Special Perils” Insurance Policies for stocks of cotton etc. and plant and machinery. Due to a fire break out at the complainant’s factory, huge stock of cotton got damaged.

Surveyor assessed the loss at Rs 32,92,525 only, though the total loss suffered was to the tune of Rs 99,45,286. Complainant submitted that since he was facing financial difficulties he accepted the settlement offered by the OP and executed the Indemnity Bond and Discharge Voucher in the name of OP.

Further, alleging the deficiency in service by OP, he filed a Complaint before the State Commission.

Aggrieved by the State Commission’s Order, complainant preferred the present appeal before this Commission.

Analysis and Decision

Bench noted that in several insurance claim cases under the Consumer Protection Act, it has been held that if a Complainant satisfies the Consumer Forum that Discharge Vouchers were obtained by fraud, coercion, undue influence etc., they should be ignored, but if they were found to be voluntary, the Complainant will be bound by it resulting in rejection of the Complaint.

“…mere signing of Discharge Voucher will not bar the Complainant/Claimant from raising a dispute before this Commission.”

 Commission further stated the only question to be addressed is whether the Discharge Voucher was signed under undue influence or coercion?

Whether the Complainant received Rs 39,72,829 towards full and final settlement or under protest pending investigation?

Further, respondents counsel submitted that there was a clarity expressed to the Complainant that unless the Discharge Voucher was signed, payment would not be released and therefore, the Discharge voucher was signed under coercion.

Bench while concluding held that “If at all the Complainant had an objection to the nature of the settlement, he should have recorded the same while signing the settlement”, hence no infirmity in the State Commission’s order was found.

In light of the above, the instant appeal was dismissed. [Arihant Industries v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd., 2021 SCC OnLine NCDRC 8, decided on 04-01-2021]


Advocates for the parties:

For the Appellant: S.M. Tripathi, Advocate

For the Respondent: Nanita Sharma, Advocate

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Governor of Madhya Pradesh promulgates the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

Purpose of this Ordinance

To provide freedom of religion by prohibiting conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat or force, undue influence, coercion, marriage or any fraudulent means and for the matters connected therewith.

Prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to other religions [Section 3]

The said ordinance states that no person shall:

  • Convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person by use of misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat or force, undue influence, coercion or marriage or by any other fraudulent means;
  • Abet or conspire such conversion

Complaint against conversion of religion [Section 4]

No police officer shall inquire or investigate except upon written complaint of a person converted in contravention of Section 3 above or his parents or siblings or with leave of the Court by any other person who is related by blood, marriage or adoption, guardianship or custodianship as may be applicable.

Punishment for contravention of provisions of Section 3 [Section 5]

Imprisonment for a term not less than one year but which may extend to 5 years and the person shall also be liable to not less than Rs 25,000 fine.

There are certain proviso clauses mentioned under the said Section.

Marriages performed with the intent to convert a person shall be null and void [Section 6]

Marriages performed in contravention of Section 3 shall be deemed to be null and void.

Jurisdiction of Court [Section 7]

To declare the marriage null and void, the petition shall be presented by any person mentioned in Section 4 before the family court or where a family court is not established, the Court having jurisdiction of a family court within the local limits wherein, —

  • The marriage was solemnized or
  • Respondent at the time of the presentation resides or
  • Either parties to the marriage last resided together or
  • Where the petitioner is residing on the date of presentation of the petition.

Inheritance Right [Section 8]

Child born out of a marriage performed in contravention of Section 3 will be legitimate and succession to the property by such child shall be regulated according to the law governing inheritance of the father.

Right to Maintenance [Section 9]

Woman whose marriage is declared null and void under Section 7, children born out of that marriage shall be entitled to maintenance.

Declaration before conversion of religion [Section 10]

Any person who desires to convert shall submit a declaration to that effect 60 days prior to such conversion to the District Magistrate stating his desire to convert without any force, coercion, undue influence or allurement.

Section 11 states the punishment for violation of provisions of Ordinance by an institution or organization.

Burden of Proof [Section 12]

Burden of Proof as to whether a conversion was not effected through misrepresentation, allurement, use of force, threat of force, undue influence, coercion or by marriage or any other fraudulent means done for the purpose of carrying out conversion lies on the accused.

Investigation [Section 14]

No police officer below the rank of sub-inspector of police shall investigate any offence registered under the ordinance.


Also Read:

Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion | Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 [Brief Explainer]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: The Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee, JJ., observed that an adult woman is free to marry the person of her choice covert.

In the instant matter, it was traced out that the girl’s age was 19 years old and she married a person of her choice and doesn’t want to return to her parental home.

Upon the petitioning father complaining that his daughter’s statement under Section 164 of the CrPC may not have been recorded in an atmosphere where she felt comfortable, the 19-year-old girl was required to meet the senior-most Additional District Judge and for sufficient care to be taken so that she was not under any coercion or undue influence.

Despite a clear and clean report, father harboured some suspicion.

Bench held that,

If an adult marries as per her choice and decides to convert and not return to her paternal house, there can be no interference in the matter.

Matter has been listed on 24-12-2020.[Palash Sarkar v. State of W.B., WPA No. 9732 of 2020, decided on 21-12-2020]

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020

This Ordinance has been promulgated by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, for the purpose of providing prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage and for the matters connected therewith.

Prohibition of conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, fraud, undue influence, coercion, allurement or marriage [SECTION 3]

The ordinance states that no person shall convert or attempt to convert any other person from one religion to another by use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage.

If any person reconverts to his/her immediate previous religion, the same would not come under the ambit of this Ordinance.

Persons competent to lodge FIR [SECTION 4]

Aggrieved, his/her sister/brother, parents or any other person who is related to him/her by blood, marriage or adoption can file an FIR and report of such conversion that contravene the provisions of Section 3.

The ordinance lays down the punishment for contravention of provisions of Section 3 under Section 5.

Marriage done for the sole purpose of Unlawful Conversion or vice-versa to be declared void [SECTION 6]

If marriage is conducted for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice-versa by the man of one religion with the woman of another religion, either by converting himself/herself before or after marriage or converting the woman either before or after the marriage shall be declared void.

Non-bailable and Cognizable [Section 7]

All the offences under this Ordinance shall be cognizable and non-bailable and triable by the Sessions Court.

Declaration before Conversion of religion and pre-report about conversion [SECTION 8]

Person who desires to convert to some other religion needs to provide a declaration in the form prescribed in Schedule-I at least sixty days in advance either to the District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate and states that the same is being done with his/her free consent and without any force, coercion, undue influence or allurement.

Religious convertor who shall perform the above-stated act of conversion will also have to give one month’s advance notice in the form prescribed in Schedule -II TO District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate regarding where the said ceremony would take place.

Declaration post-conversion of religion [SECTION 9]

The converted person shall send a declaration in the form prescribed in Schedule-III within 60 days of the date of conversion, to the District Magistrate in which the converted person resides ordinarily.

Punishment for violation of provisions of Ordinance by an institution or organization [SECTION 10]

If any institution or organization violates the provisions of the ordinance, they shall be subjected to punishment as provided under Section 5 and the registration of the said institution or organization shall stand cancelled.

Burden of Proof [SECTION 12]

The burden of proof of whether a religious conversion was not effected through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage would lie on the person who caused the conversion and where such conversion was facilitated by any person on such other person.

The above Ordinance will extend to the whole of Uttar Pradesh.


Details of the Ordinance can be read here: UP_Prohibition_of_Unlawful_Conversion_of_Religion_Ordinance,_2020

Kerala High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Division Bench of S.V. Bhati and Bechu Kurian Thomas, JJ., addressed an issue pertaining to the following terms,

Total deprivation, through a partition deed and a release deed, of the property of a deaf and dumb sister forced her to approach the Court to restore her rights in her property and claim partition.

In the present matter, Court held that persons having physical infirmities like deafness or dumbness which seriously affect their cognitive functions can file a suit through “next friend”.

Mental infirmity in the context of Order 32 Rule 15 is not mental disorder, insanity or mental illness.

Facts

Mary, Leelamma, and Aani are sisters. Mary being the eldest and Aani the youngest. Leelamma, the second amongst the sisters, is a deaf and dumb person. She is also illiterate.

The eldest sister claimed to have brought up Leelamma under her care and custody, conducted her marriage, and that of her daughter too. Leelamma’s conjugal life with her husband did not last long as she came back along with her daughter to Mary’s care.

Allegation

Leelamma alleged that partition deed and the release deed were executed on account of fraud and undue influence exerted over the plaintiff and thus sought to set aside the documents.

Partition Deed

As per the partition deed, the properties left behind the mother were divided between the three sisters.

Defendant 1 was allotted A schedule comprising 60 cents, while B schedule comprising just 5 cents, was allotted to the share of both plaintiff and defendant 1. Youngest sister and defendant 2 recited in the document that she is relinquishing her share in the properties.

Mary, defendant 1 the absolute owner of the entire 65 cents property.

Fraud and Dishonesty

Plaintiff conveyed to her daughter through gestures that she had been taken to some place to give her signature and that her thumb impression was taken.

Plaintiff alleged that release deed was cerated by undue influence, fraudulently, dishonestly, and without her knowledge or consent.

Next Friend

Defendant 1 questioned the right of the next friend to file the suit and also denied the incapacity of the plaintiff as far as her ability to comprehend and do things by herself was concerned and also denied the allegation of fraud, cheating and undue influence exerted by the defendants over the plaintiff.

Analysis and Decision

Next Friend

Order 32 Rule 15 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 deal with Suits by or Against Minors and Persons of Unsound Mind. Appointment of next friend for a person with an unsound mind.

Further, the said provision deals with persons of mental infirmity, who are, by the said reason, incapable of protecting their interests, except with the assistance of a next friend, when suing or being sued.

Mental Infirmity

Living as a deaf and dumb person, has a debilitating effect on the mental faculties of comprehension, thought, communication and even response. These faculties when affected will have an effect on the person’s capacity to protect his civil rights.

Fraud, Undue Influence or Coercion

There is no dispute with the proposition that the burden of proof in respect of the plea of fraud, undue influence or coercion is upon the person who alleges the same.

Valid Contract

Free consent, competency to contract, lawful consideration, lawful object and agreement not declared to be void, are the main ingredients for a valid contract. It is a consensual act and the parties are free to settle any terms as they please.

Whether consent for partition and for the release deed has been obtained by undue influence or fraud played by the defendants upon the plaintiff?

High Court observed that, taking care of one’s own sister is a gratuitous or magnanimous act for which it cannot be believed that the entire property will be given away.

Position of Dominance

In the present matter, the defendants failed to prove good faith in the transaction and the execution of release deed documents was proved to have been done exploiting the position of dominance in which defendant 1 wielded over the plaintiff.

Principle of Undue Influence

Hence Court being of firm view stated that the said transactions relating to the share right of the plaintiff are void on the principle of undue influence.

Court also observed that nowhere does the document recite as to why more than 95% of the property (62.5 cents out of a total of 65 cents) left behind by mother of the parties to the document has been allotted to the share of the defendant 1, while the plaintiff is left with a meagre 4% (2.5 cents). Even the 2.5 cents allotted to the plaintiff was released in favour of the defendant1, within a period of five days of execution of Ext.A1. Though the document mentions payment of Rs 2.5 lakhs as consideration for the said transaction, it has come out in evidence that no such payment was received by the plaintiff.

“Fraud in the present case is evident and it has been deployed to exploit a hapless lady of her properties.”

Fraud

Referring to Section 34 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 and the Rules made thereunder may be apposite in the present context and Court found that the failure to inform the Sub-Registrar about the deafness and dumbness of one of the parties to the document was a deft method in playing fraud.

Hence, defendant 1 is entitled to 2/3rd share in the plaint schedule property and held that defendant 2 is not entitled to any share. [Mary v. Leelamma, 2020 SCC OnLine Ker 2491, decided on 30-06-2020]

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Hari Pal Verma, J. quashed the criminal proceeding as there was a compromise signed between the parties.

A petition was filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for quashing the FIR registered under Sections 406, 498-A of the Penal Code, 1860.

The records of the case are such that the parties appeared before the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class in which it was submitted that compromise was effected between the parties voluntarily without any coercion or undue influence. The complainant/respondent made a joint statement in which she had made the statement regarding the compromise between the two.

Gaganpreet Kaur, counsel for State had not disputed the fact of the compromise between the parties.

The Court thus opined that no useful purpose would be served to continue with the proceedings before the trial court. The Court reiterated the case of Gold Quest International (P) Ltd. v. State of T.N., 2014 (4) RCR (Criminal) 206, in which the Supreme Court held that “disputes which are substantially matrimonial in nature, or the civil property disputes with criminal facets, if the parties have entered into settlement, and it has become clear that there are no chances of conviction, there is no illegality in quashing the proceedings under Section 482 CrPC read with Article 226 of the Constitution.” Thus, all the proceeding was quashed qua the petitioner on the basis of the compromise entered between the parties.[Pankaj v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1112, decided on 04-07-2019]

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab & Haryana High Court: Appellant had prayed before the Bench of Surinder Gupta, J., that the Will made by mother of both the parties was illegal, null and void being obtained by the respondent under undue influence, coercion, misrepresentation and that she was incompetent to make Will of conjoint property.

The Trial Court had upheld the Will executed by the mother and suit of the appellant was dismissed. It was submitted that both the parties had equally contributed to purchase the land though it was purchased on their mother’s name who could not have purchased the land being a household lady. Thus, Will executed by her was illegal being obtained under undue influence, coercion, misrepresentation. Trial Court found the Will to be validly executed and thus under Section 14 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 the mother was the absolute owner of the suit property and was competent to execute the Will. Statement of account was brought before Court as proof that the appellant had contributed to the sale of the property.

High Court was of the view that even if the financial contribution was done for sale the transaction cannot be said to be Benami transaction. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed and Courts below have not committed any error in stating that Will was valid, registered and rightly executed. [Dharam Singh v. Anil Kumar, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 428, decided on 23-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court at Goa: A Single Judge Bench comprising of C.V. Bhadang, J., dismissed an appeal filed against the concurrent findings of the courts below that resulted in decreeing the suit of the respondents.

The matter related to the validity of the Will in question. The respondents had filed a regular civil suit against the appellant, contending that the said Will was obtained by undue influence exercised by the appellants over the testator. The trial court framed as many as eight issues. And after appreciation of evidence, decreed the suit of the respondents. Appellant preferred an appeal before the district judge. However, the same got dismissed. Aggrieved thus, the appellant approached the High Court. It was submitted that the Appellate Court did not frame proper points which violated Order 41 Rule 31 CPC.

The High Court, on a careful consideration of rival submissions made on behalf of the parties, was of the view that appeal did not raise any substantial question of law. The Court observed that when an appeal is heard on merits, the High Court has to examine whether the failure of the first Appellate Court to formulate the questions as required by Order 41 Rule 31 has resulted in miscarriage of justice. The Court was of the opinion that the points framed by the Appellate Court showed that all the necessary issues were covered. Further, the Court observed that Section 99 of CPC inter alia provides that no decree shall be reversed or substantially varied, nor shall any case be remanded in appeal on account of any error not affecting the merits of the case or the jurisdiction of the court. The Court held that in the instant case there was no such miscarriage of justice that affected the merits of the case. The Court did not find it a fit case to interfere with the impugned judgment. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed. [Shablo Govind Gaude v. Kashinath Govind Gaude,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1239, dated 14-6-2018]