BANSHIDHAR AGRAWALA AND OTHERS Vs. THE STATE OF MANIPUR AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Banshidhar Agrawala And Others
The State of Manipur And Others
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R.S. Bindra, J. -
(1.) This order will dispose of review applications Nos. 91, 92 and 96 to 109 as the questions involved in each one of them are identical.
(2.) The relevant facts are that the suits of the present applicants for khas possession of certain plots of land forming part of erstwhile British Reserve in the town of Imphal were dismissed by the Subordinate Judge, Manipur by a common judgment dated 10 -3 -1967, in consequence of his finding on a preliminary issue which was worded as follows: - -
1 -A. Whether the resumption of the suit land by cancelling the patta by the then Political Agent of Manipur prior to the Independence of India on 15 -8 -1947 and the subsequent acts of the Political Agents and erstwhile State of Manipur in granting the lands to some of the defendants before the integration on 15 -10 -49 arose out of and during an act of State? Is the suit therefore, unmaintainable in the ordinary Civil Court?
The present applicants having felt aggrieved with the dismissal of their suits filed revision petitions in this Court under Sec. 115 of the Civil Procedure Code read with Sec. 34 of the Manipur (Courts) Act, 1955. When those revision petitions came up for hearing in this Court on 7 -8 -1970 the Government Advocate raised the preliminary objection that they were not maintainable inasmuch as the suits having been dismissed and decrees of dismissal having been passed, the aggrieved plaintiffs could have challenged the decrees by way of appeal. In support of that contention the learned Government Advocate placed reliance on the decision in : AIR 1964 SC 497. Major S. S. Khanna v/s. Brig. F. J. Dillon, to the effect that "If an appeal lies against the adjudication directly to the High Court or to another Court from the decision of which an appeal lies to the High Court it has no power to exercise its revisional jurisdiction." That contention of the Government Advocate prevailed in this Court. The relevant passage in the judgment dated 7 -8 -1970 of this Court by which the revision petitions were dismissed as not maintainable runs as under:
Since all the suits relate to immovable properties and a number of questions of law are involved, second appeal to this Court would be competent after the first appeal is disposed of by the District Court. Therefore, the case would fall within the ambit of the rule laid by the Supreme Court in the case of Major S. S. Khanna, : AIR 1964 SC 497.
Other observations made in that order were that one of the essential conditions which must be established to enable an aggrieved party to file revision petition even under Sec. 34 of the Manipur (Courts) Act is that no appeal lies to the High Court against the impugned order of the Subordinate Court, and that consequently there is no difference between Sec. 115 of the Code and Sec. 34 of the Act in that respect. In the instant batch of 16 applications, review is sought of that order dismissing the revision petitions.
(3.) Shri K. Misra, appearing for the applicants, submitted that review was claimable on the ground that there is mistake of law apparent on the face of the record. The mistake mentioned by him is that the view expressed by this Court in the order dated 7 -8 -1970 that a review under Sec. 34 of the Act would be competent only if no appeal lay to the High Court against the impugned order of the Subordinate Court is manifestly erroneous. The expression "some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record" used in Rule 1, Order XLVII, of the Code has been interpreted in a large number of judicial pronouncements. The consensus of opinion is that a mistake or error mentioned in the rule should be so manifest and clear that no Court would stand its being retained on the record, and that an erroneous view of the law on a controversial point or a wrong exposition of the law cannot be considered as a mistake or error apparent on the face of the record. In other words, no review is competent if the decision though erroneous had been considerately reached and rendered in awareness.
An error or mistake as a consequence of a wrong judgment on a point debated before the Court must obviously be the subject of an appeal or revision in the higher Court rather than be assailed in a review application. The Bombay High Court held in : AIR 1959 Bom 466, S. P. Awate v/s. C. P. Fernandes, that the error contemplated by Rule 1 of Order XLVII is not an error which could be demonstrated by a process of ratiocination, nor would it be correct to say that when two views on a question of law are possible and the Court has taken one view, the fact that the other view is acceptable view would render the first view an error apparent on the face of the record.;
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