KANTAM KAMAL BAI Vs. NAGULA RAMASWAMY
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
KANTAM KAMAL BAI
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A.V.Krishna Rao, J. -
(1.) The question raised in this Civil revision petition is whether a Court which had previously stayed the suit before it under Section 151, C. P. C., pending decision of the Tahsildar under Section 50-B of the Hyderabad Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act (hereinafter referred to as the "Act") has the power or competence to set aside that order of stay at a later stage on the application of a party and review of the earlier order in exercise of its inherent powers. It would appear that by reason of an order dated 20-11-1969, in I. A. No. 160 of 1969, the Court stayed the trial of the suit, pending certain proceedings under Section 50-B of the Act. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed I. A. No. 217 of 1970 to vacate the stay order made earlier in I. A. 160 of 1969. It is contended by the petitioner that the Court having once stayed the proceedings it has not inherent power to review and recall its own earlier order. The previous order made by the Court staying the suit was under Section 151, C. P. C., Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure states:---- "Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent power of the Court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court."
(2.) If the Court when it made the earlier order had felt that the ends of justice had required the making of the particular order, it does not mean that the inherent power had come to an end and that it cannot be invoked again for the ends of justice at a later date, if facts justifying the exercise of inherent power are brought to the notice of the Court. In fact, the true position is that the inherent powers of the Court are not conferred by Section 151, C. P. C. The Courts inherent power to make appropriate orders in the ends of justice is not one conferred by the Code. Section 151, C. P. C., merely saves the inherent powers of the Court. If the continuance of the order under Section 151, C. P. C., made by the Court by reason of events which occurred subsequent to the passing of the order and the ends of justice require a review of the earlier order passed, it is impossible to hold that a Court cannot recall its own order. An order made under Section 151, C. P. C., is not an appealable one and therefore there is no finality attached to the order. It can not be said that once a Court makes an order under Section 151, C. P. C., exercising its inherent powers, that power must be deemed to have been exhausted once for all. On the facts before the lower Court, it rightly felt that the proceedings before the Tahsildar under Section 50-B of the Act were interminably prolonged. The Court had no power to direct the Tahsildar to dispose of the matter pending before him, inasmuch as the Tahsildar in exercising his powers under Section 50-B of the Act is not subordinate to the Court and is not in any way amenable to the jurisdiction of the Court. The powers of the Tahsildar are those created by a statute and he functions under the provisions of that statute independent of the civil Court. In this case, the Tahsildar was taking his own time to decide the matter under Section 50-B of the Act. The Court could issue no direction regarding the disposal of the proceedings before the Tahsildar. The Legislature, in our view, had not provided any appeal against any order made by the Court under Section 151, C. P. C., so as to enable the Court to make appropriate orders from time to time when the ends of justice require it. No authority is placed before us which holds that once an order is made under Section 151, C. P. C., in the ends of justice, that order cannot be reviewed or recalled at a later date, if the ends of justice require such review.
(3.) Some assistance was sought to be derived by the counsel for the petitioner by reference to S. K. R. Mills v. Sesha Giri Rao, AIR 1962 Andh Pra 506. The Division Bench in that case observed: "It is therefore obvious that when there is a right of appeal and the party can obtain relief in the Court of appeal, ordinarily it is not open to the trial Court to set aside its own order unless it is permissible under Order 47, Rule 1, C. P. C., or the case falls within Sections 152 and 153, C. P. C.".;
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