JANGAM BHADRIAH Vs. MEMBER BOARD OF REVENUE ENDOWMENTS HYDERABAD
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
MEMBER, BOARD OF REVENUE, ENDOWMENTS, HYDERABAD
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(1.) This is an application for review of the Judgment of this Court in
A.S. No. 477 of 1957 and it raises an important question of practice.
The facts relevant for the purpose of deciding this petition may be briefly stated.
This appeal was heard by me and the late Mr. Justice Ramachandra Rao on the 9th
February, 1961. We were unanimous in our conclusions and I pronounced the
judgment of the Bench in open Court. The judgment was in due course transcribed
and was signed by me. It was then that a melancholy event occurred. Mr. Justice.
Ramachandra Rao was taken ill and he died before he could sign the judgment.
By a note, dated 7th April, 1961, I held, following a precedent of the Supreme Court,
that in the circumstances my signature to the judgment was sufficient. In this application
for review, the learned counsel has argued that inasmuch as the judgment was
not signed by late Mr. Justice Ramachandra Rao, it was a wholly invalid judgment.
According to him, unless the judgment is signed by both the Judges constituting the
Bench, it would not be a valid judgment.
(2.) Initially, I felt a doubt as to whether this petition for review could be heard by
me alone or whether it should be posted before a Bench. This point is directly
covered by the decisions of the Calcutta High Court in Aubhoy Churn Mohunt v.
Shamont Lochun Mohunt, (1889) I.L.R. 16 Cal. 788, and Maksud Mahi v. Secretary of State, (1911)9 I.C.532. In Peeram Chenna
Reddy, In re., (1941)2 M.L.J. 644 : A.I.R.(1942)Mad.23. Mr. Justice Somayya stated as follows :-
"According to the invariable practice of the Madras High Court, even in first appeals, the application
for review is heard and decided only by the Judges who heard the appeal or where one of them
is absent by the other Judge sitting alone."
(3.) In accordance with the practice of the Madras High Court, which is the justice
followed by this Court as well, I hold that this petition for review can be disposed of
by me. I may add, in fairness to the learned Advocate for the petitioner, that he
has not raised this objection.
The next of the questions is whether the fact that late Mr. Justice Ramachandra
Rao had not signed the judgment would render it invalid. On this point, guidance
is afforded by a note appended to the judgment of their Lordships of the Supreme
Court in Ramaswamy Nadar v. The State of Madras, 1958 S.C.J 343 : (1958)1 M.L.J. (S.C.)143 : (1958)1 An.W.R. (S.C.)143 : A.I.R.958 S.C. 56 at 60. The note reads as follows :-
"When hearing of this appeal was finished last week by a Bench consisting of three of us, B.P.
Sinha, P. Govir.da Menon and J.L. Kapur, JJ., we announced that we had come to the conclusion
that the appellant should be acquitted. We also indicated that the judgment will be delivered the
week following. The draft of the judgment was sent to late Mr. Justice Menon last week and he had
approved of it. What we are now delivering are the reasons of the judges who constituted the Bench;
but it will be signed by two only of us on account of the unexpected death of Mr. Justice Menon.";
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