Decided on October 09,1972



Obul Reddi, J. - (1.) This Letters Patent Appeal preferred by the Southern Roadways Private Ltd., by its Manager, Vijayawada, hereinafter referred to as the 'Employer, is directed against the judgment of our learned brother, Chinnappa Reddy, J., allowing the appeal preferred by the Employees State Insurance Corporation hereinafter referred to as the 'Corporation against the order of the Employees' State Insurance Court in Case No. 1 of 1969 dated 30th May, 1970 allowing the application filed by the Employer under section 75 (g) of the Employers' State Insurance Act, 1948, hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'.
(2.) Mr. Kannabhiran, the learned Counsel appearing for the appellant (Employer), assailed the judgmc nt of our learned brother mainly on two grounds: (i) It is not open to the Corporation (respondent) under the provisions of the Act, to levy and collect either special contributions or employees' contributions without the Corporation first covering the employees of the Employer's establishment for the various benefits that they are entitled to under the provisions of the Act, and (2) there is no warrant for the conclusion reached by the learned Judge that the Maintenance Section of the Employer at Vijayawada was a factory within the meaning of that expression even prior to 1st April, 1968. Mr. I.A. Naidu, appearing for the Corporation while relying upon the findings recorded by our learned brother also raised a preliminary objection that a Letters Patent Appeal does not lie in view of the bar under section 82 (2) of the Act.
(3.) It may, therefore be convenient, in the first instance, to consider the objection raised by the learned Counsel for the Corporation whether sub-section (2) of section 82 of the Act bars an appeal under clause 15 of the Letters Patent. Section 82 of the Act may now be read: "82. (i) Save as expressly provided in this section, no appeal shall lie from an order of an Employees' Insurance Court. (2) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from an order of an Employees' Insurance Court if it involves a substantial question of law." There is no prohibition of a further or second appeal in section 82 of the Act, as we find in section 39 (2) of the Arbitration Act or section 47 (2) of the Jagirdars Debt Settlement Act. We may, therefore, read the relevant provisions of section 39 of the Arbitration Act and section 47 (2) of the Jagirdars Debt Settlement Act, respectively : "39 (0 An appeal shall lie from the following orders passed under this Act (and from no others) to the Court authorised by law to hear appeals from original decrees of the Court passing the orders:- An order- (i) superseding an arbitration; (ii) On an award stated in the form of a special case; (iii) Modifying or correcting an award; (iv) filing or refusing to file an arbitration agreement; (v) staying or refusing to stay legal proceedings where there is an arbitration agreement; (vi) setting aside or refusing to set aside an award: Provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any order passed by a Small Causes Court. (2) No second appeal shall lie from an order passed in appeal under this section, but nothing in this section shall affect or take away any right to appeal to the Supreme Court." "47 (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, an appeal from the Board shall lie to the High Court." Sub-section (3) of section 47 bars a further appeal and it reads: "No second appeal shall lie against any decision, order or award of the Board under this Act." A scrutiny of the provisions of the Jagirdars Debt Settlement Act and the provisions of the Arbitration Act would reveal that there is a specific bar in so far as preferring a second appeal not in the sense of a second appeal under section 100, Civil Procedure Code, but in the case of a further appeal numerically against the judgment of the High Court which is empowered to hear only an appeal. It is for that reason Shah, J., (as he then was) said in Union. of India v. Mohindra Supply Co., that: "Under section 39 (I), an appeal lies from the orders specified in that subsection and from no others. The legislature has plainly expressed itself that the right of appeal against orders passed under the Arbitration Act may be exercised only in respect of certain orders. The right to appeal against other orders is expressly taken away. If by the express provision contained in section 39 (i), a right to appeal from a judgment which may otherwise be available under the Letters Patent is restricted, there is no ground for holding that Clause (2) does not similarly restrict the exercise of appellate power granted by the Letters Patent. If for reasons aforementioned the expression second appeal" includes an appeal under the Letters Patent, it would be impossible to hold that notwithstanding the express prohibition, an appeal under the Letters Patent from an order passed in appeal under sub-section (i) is competent." In National Sewing Thread Co. Ltd. v. James Chadwick arid Brothers, Mahajan, J. (as he then was), considered the question whether a decision given by a single Judge of the High Court in an appeal preferred under section 76 of the Trade Marks Act constituted a judgment within the meaning of Clause 15 of the Letters Patent as the competency of an appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent (Bombay) was questioned. Section 76 (i) of the Trade Marks Act provides: "Save as otherwise expressly provided in the Act an appeal shall lie, with in the period prescribed by the Central Government, from any decision of the Registrar under this Act or the rules made thereunder to the High Court having the jurisdiction." As in the present case that Act too does not provide for a further or second appeal and there was no bar of a second appeal as in the case of the Arbitration Act and the Jagirdars Debt Settlement Act, the learned Judge repelling the argument advanced that an appeal cannot be filed invoking Clause 15 observed: "Ordinarily after an appeal reaches the High Court, it has to be determined according to the rules of practice and procedure of that Court and in accordance with the provisions of the Charter under which that Court is constituted and which confers on it power in respect to the method and manner of exercising that jurisdiction. Thus section 76, Trade Marks Act, confers a right of appeal to the High Court and says nothing more about it. That being so, the High Court be ing seized as such of the appellate jurisdiction conferred by section 76 it has to exercise that jurisdiction in the same manner as it exprcises its other appellate jurisdiction and when such jurisdiction is exercised by a single Judge, his judgment becomes subject to appeal under clause 15 of the Letters Patent, there being nothing contrary in the Trade Marks Act." This decision is on all fours with the present case for the reason that there is nothing in the Act which prohibits a further or second appeal against the order of a single Judge, making the appeal filed under sub-section (2) of section 82 of the Act final. Chief Justice Subba Rao in South Asia Industries (P.] Ltd. v. Samp Singh, dealing with the provisions of the Delhi Rent Control Act with reference to a Judgment of a single Judge of Punjab High Court, observed: "A statute may give a right of appeal from an order of a tribunal or a Court to the High Court without any limitation thereon. The appeal to the High Court will be regulated by the practice and procedure obtaining In the High Court. Under the rules made by the High Court in exercise of the powers conferred on it under section 108 of the Government of India Act, 1915, an appeal under section 39 of the Act will be heard by a single Judge." The learned Chief Justice also considered the meaning of the expression 'final' and observed: "The expression 'final' prima facie connotes that an order passed on appeal under the Act is conclusive and no further appeal lies against it. The last sentence in section 43 of the Act, does not restrict the scope of the said expression; indeed, the said sentence imposes a further bar. The expression "final" in the first part of section 43 of the Act puts an end to a further appeal and the words "shall not be called in question In any original suit, application ;or execution proceeding" bar collateral proceedings. The section imposes a total bar. The correctness of the judgment in appeal cannot be questioned bv way of appeal or by way of collateral proceedings". No where is the expression ''final" used In section 82 of the Act for us to hold that finality has been given to any "judgment" rendered by a single Judge of this Court. To the same effect is the decision in Collector, Varanasi v. Gauri Shanker. Dealing with the scope of sections 19(1) (A) and 19 (1) ( f) of the Defence of India Act (1939) Hegde, J., observed that: "Appeals under that provision have to be disposed of just In the same manner as other appeals to the High Court. Obviously after the appeal has reached the High Court it has to be determined according to the rules of practice and procedure of that Court. The rule is well settled that when a statute directs that an appeal shall lie to a Court already established then that appeal must be regulated by the 'practice and procedure of that Court.";

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