SUPREME COURT REITERATED THAT HIGH COURT IS NOT OBLIGED TO FORMULATE SUBSTANTIAL QUESTIONS OF LAW IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES

A Three Judge Bench of the Hon’ble #SupremeCourt of India comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi passed a Judgment dated 16.11.2020 in the case of Kirpa Ram v. Surendra Deo Gaur (Civil Appeal No. 8971 of 2010) and held that if there’s no #error in the findings of the First Appellate #Court, then the #HighCourt is not obliged to frame #substantialquestionsoflaw.

In the present case, Respondent No. 1 and 2 herein (Plaintiffs) had filed a Suit for Permanent Injunction on 31.07.1971 in the Trial Court, as they were apprehending a threat to their possession of land bearing Khasra No. 238 measuring 4 Bighas 3 Biswas (Property), situated in the revenue estate of Village Basai Darapur, Delhi. By a Decree dated 07.10.1960, the Trial Court held that the Plaintiffs are the owners and Bhumidars of the said Property.

Aggrieved, the Defendants filed an Application under Section 161 B of the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954 before Sub-Judge, First Class, Delhi for setting aside the said Decree. However, the same was dismissed on 24.5.1968.

The Trial Court held that the Property was in the possession of the Plaintiffs. Further, it was held that the Defendants being the third parties don’t have a right to challenge the Decree passed in favour of the Plaintiffs.

Aggrieved, the Defendant No. 4 (Appellant herein) filed a First Appeal, which was dismissed by the First Appellate Court. Thereafter, a Second Appeal was filed in the Delhi High Court and the High Court vide Judgment dated 25.8.2008 dismissed the same.

Aggrieved, the Defendant No. 4 (Appellant herein) filed an Appeal in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

The First argument raised by the Appellant was that the High Court had dismissed the Appeal without formulating any substantial question of law which is a requirement as per Section 100 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (Code) and that the matter should be remitted back for determining the substantial questions of law framed by the Appellant.

Placing reliance on Sub-Section (1) of Section 100 of the Code, the Apex Court held that an Appeal shall lie if there’s a substantial question of law involved and the Appeal shall be heard on the questions so framed. If the substantial questions of law that have been framed by the Appellant are found to be arising in the case, only then the High Court shall take the same into consideration. However, if there’s no error in the findings of the First Appellate Court, then the High Court is not obliged to frame any substantial questions of law.

In this case, the Supreme Court upheld the Judgment of the Delhi High Court as there was no error in the findings of the said Court and thus, disposed the Appeals.

Suchitra Upadhyay

Associate

The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services

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