Decided on May 05,1975

Suranjan Nandi And Another Appellant
S.R. Sastri And Others Respondents


Baharul Islam, J. - (1.) THE Government of Assam by its notifications dated 22 -9 -1972 and 13 -8 -1973 nominated six members as the Government nominees to the Governing Body of the Ramkrishna College (hereinafter referred to as "the College"). It included defendants Nos. 1 and 2 who are respectively the President and the Secretary of the Governing body of the college. The University also by its letters dated 5 -9 -1972 and 9 -12 -1972 nominated defendants Nos. 9 and 10 under clause (vi) of Rule 3 of Assam Aided Colleges Management Rules, 1965 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules'). The defendant No. 2 convened the first meeting of the Governing Body to be held on 28 -8 -1973 by his notice dated 21 -8 -1973. The plaintiff who claims himself to be the Principal and Secretary of the College filed Title Suit No. 66 of 1973 in the Court of the Assistant District Judge No. 1, Silchar, for a declaration that the constitution of the Governing Body of the college was illegal, that he was the rightful Principal of the college and entitled to operate its funds, and also for a permanent injunction to restrain the defendant Nos. 1 and 2 from the management of the college affairs including the operation of the college funds. Along with the plaint, the plaintiff also filed an application under Order 39, Rules 1 and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter called 'the Code') for a temporary injunction. The learned Assistant District Judge initially granted an ad interim injunction; but after full hearing he vacated it. On appeal by the plaintiff, the District Judge granted the temporary injunction as prayed for.
(2.) DEFENDANTS Nos. 1 and 2 have now filed this application under S. 115 of the Code challenging the aforesaid order of the District Judge granting the injunction. Shri N.M. Lahiri, learned Advocate General of Meghalaya appearing for the plaintiff, submits that the application under Section 115 of the Code is incompetent. He submits that when the District Judge had the jurisdiction to decide the question involved, he had the jurisdiction to decide it either rightly or wrongly, and his order cannot be challenged under Section 115 of the Code. In support of his contention, he relies on a decision of the Supreme Court reported in : AIR 1964 SC 1341 in which their Lordships observed - The power of the High Court under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure is not thereby excluded, but the exercise of that power is by the terms of the statute investing it severely restricted. The High Court may exercise its powers in revision only if it appears that in a case decided by a Subordinate Court in which no appeal lies thereto the Subordinate Court has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity. If the trial Court had jurisdiction to decide the case and even if it decided the question wrongly, it did not exercise its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity. In the case of Pandurang Dhondi Chougule v. Maruti Hari Jadhav reported in : AIR 1966 SC 153, their Lordships of the Supreme Court have held: The High Court cannot while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 115, correct errors of fact, however gross they may be, or even errors of law; it can only do so when the said errors have relation to the jurisdiction of the Court to try the dispute itself. It is only in cases where the subordinate Court has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise its jurisdiction so vested or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity that the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court can be properly invoked. Points of law may arise which are related to questions of jurisdiction. A plea of limitation or a plea or res judicata is a plea of law which concerns the jurisdiction of the Court which tries the proceedings. A finding on these pleas in favour of the party which raises them would oust the jurisdiction of the Court. An erroneous decision on these pleas, therefore, can be said to be concerned with questions of jurisdiction falling within the purview of Section 115 of the Code.
(3.) THE law therefore is that when a question of law having relation to jurisdiction, is erroneously decided by a subordinate Court, and by such erroneous decision, it assumes jurisdiction which it did not have, or refuses to exercise jurisdiction which it had, then it will be a case relating to the question of jurisdiction of the Court and the decision can be interfered with by the High Court in its revisional powers under Sec. 115 of the Code, if it is erroneous. Whether principles of law governing issue of temporary injunction were correctly appreciated and applied to the facts of a particular case is a question of law that relates to jurisdiction. If the subordinate court's appreciation or application of such principles of law is erroneous it can be interfered under Section 115 of the Code. It therefore cannot be said that in the instant case the petition under Section 115 is incompetent. This submission of the learned Advocate General has no substance.;

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