KRISHNA DEVI Vs. KRISHAN LAL
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
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(1.) ORDER :- Krishan Lal and Vaishno Devi, respondents herein filed a suit in the Court of Sub-Judge, Udhampur for mandatory injunction directing Smt. Krishana Devi and others, petitioners herein to remove the obstruction of a passage closed by them by raising a wall. This suit of the respondents herein was decreed on 19-12-84 and the appeal filed subsequently by the petitioners before the District Judge, Udhampur was withdrawn by them on May 29, 1985. Later on the respondents filed two applications before the Sub-Judge Udhampur under Ss.151 and 152, C.P.C. for rectifying the mistake occurring in the judgement and for amendment of the decree-sheet on the grounds that the decree passed by the Trial Court was not executable as by error the Court failed to mention the measurement of the passage, the obstruction of which was required to be removed After obtaining objections from the other side the learned Sub-Judge accepted the prayer of the respondents and directed for inserting the words "passage measuring 44' X 8' situate in Karlai Kanglu" in the judgement. Aggrieved by this order the petitioners who were defendants in the main case have come up in revision before this Court.
(2.) I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the record before me. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners has argued that the judgement of the Trial Court dt. 19-12-1984 was appealable and there is no circumstance to invoke the powers under S.151, C.P.C. by the Court in order to change the basic structure of the judgement According to him there was no clerical or arithmetic error in the judgement and as such the provisions of S.152, C.P.C. would not have been made applicable. Learned counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, has contended that in accordance with the judgement and decree of the Trial Court respondents were required to remove the obstruction caused by them to the passage leading to their house and while executing the said decree a difficulty was felt regarding measurement of the passage which necessitated the respondents to file an application for making a clarification as inadvertantly measurement which was in existence in the plaint as well as in the judgement itself was not incorporated in the decree sheet. I have considered these contentions raised by either side.
(3.) O.XX, C.P.C. deals with the judgements and the decrees. Rule 3 of this Order provides that the judgement when once signed shall not afterwards be altered or added to, save as provided by S.152 or on review. In accordance with this provision of law the jurisdiction of the Court to reconsider its order ceases once the judgement is signed except as provided by S.152 or on review. The Court cannot, after the judgement is signed, alter or add to it in any manner, except as provided try this Rule. R.6 of this Order contemplates that the decree shall agree with the judgement and it should be drawn in accordance with the judgement passed. Before considering S.152, C.P.C. it is worthwhile to refer to S.151 which relates to exercise of inherent powers 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 law. In accordance with the provision laid down in S.151 the Courts have power to do justice and to redress a wrong. It has also powers inherent in it do right and to undo wrong in the course of administration of justice. Court, however, cannot override the express provision of law and also the general principles of law. Section 152, C.P.C. provides that clerical or arithmetical errors in the judgement, decree of order or errors arising therein from any accidental slip or omission may at any time be corrected by the Court either on its own motion or on the application of any of the parties. It appeals from O.XX, R.3, C.P.C. that a judgement once signed cannot afterwards be altered or added to, save as otherwise provided by S.152 or on review. O.XX, R.6 provides that the decree shall be drawn up so as to accord with the judgement. The only exception to the abovesaid general rules are contained in S.152, C.P.C. which can be summarised in the following manner :-
1. Under S.152 a clerical or arithmetical mistake or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission may be corrected by the Court even though the decree is in confirmity with the judgement; 2. Under the inherent powers of the Court under S.151 a decree which is at variance with the judgement can be amended to according to the judgement; 3. A decree or order may be varied or amended in any other case by a review of judgement or by an appeal from the decree. The Court in case, Aziz Dar v. Anwar Dar, reported in 1979 0 KashLJ 81, while deciding the point whether the Court has inherent powers to rectify the decree in order to make it effective and executable has held that every attempt is to be made to save the decree from becoming dead and it is with a view to meet this situation that the Court has been armed with inherent powers under S.151, C.P.C. to pass such order as would promote the ends of justice or prevent the abuse of the process of the Court. In case, Samareridra Nath Sinha v. Krishan Kumar Naag, reported in AIR 1967 SC 1440, their Lordships of the Supreme Court while dealing with Ss.151 and 152 have come to the following findings :-
"Now it is well settled that there is an inherent power in the Court which passed the judgement to correct a clerical mistake or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission and to vary its judgement so as to give effect to its meanings and intentions. "Every Court" said Bowen L.J. in Mellor v. Swire, (1985) 30 Ch D 239 has inherent power over its own records so long as those records are within its power and that it can set right any mistake in them. An order even when passed and entered may be amended by the Court so as to carry out its intention and express the meaning of the Court when the order was made." In Jankirama Iyer v. Nilakanta Iyer, AIR 1962 SC 633 the decree as drawn in the High Court had used the words "Mesne profits" instead of "net profits". In fact the use of words "net profits" came to be made probably because while narrating the facts, these words were inadvertantly used in the judgement. This Court held that the use of the words "mesne profits" in the context was obviously the result of inadvertence in view of the fact that the decree of the trial Court had specifically used the words "net profits" and therefore the decretal order drawn up in the High Court through mistake could be corrected under Ss.151 and 152 of the Code even after the High Court had granted certificate and appeals were admitted in this Court before the date of the correction. It is true that under O.20, R.3 of the Code once a judgement is signed by the Judge it cannot be altered or added to but the rule expressly provides that a correction can be made under S.152. Under S.152, clerical or arithmatical mistakes in judgements, decrees or orders or errors arising therein from any accidental slip or omission may at any time be corrected by the Court either on its own motion or on an application by any of the parties. It is thus manifest that errors arising from an accidental slip can be corrected subsequently not only in a decree drawn up by a ministerial officer of the Court but even in a judgement pronounced and signed by the Court.";
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