MOHD. SHAHNAWAZ AKHTAR Vs. FIRST ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE, VARANASI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
MOHD. SHAHNAWAZ AKHTAR
First Additional District Judge, Varanasi
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(1.)THIS appeal is directed against an order dated 30-4-1997 by which the High Court has allowed the writ petition filed by Respondent 4 herein.
(2.)BRIEFLY stated the facts are as follows: the appellant who is the landlord of the premises filed a suit for eviction of Respondent 4 from Shop No. D - 50/128 situated in
Mohalla Kajipura Kala, Nai Sarak, Varanasi City. The suit was filed on various grounds.
One of the grounds was that the fourth respondent had sub-let the premises to other
parties. The trial court decreed the suit on this ground. The revision filed by the fourth
respondent was dismissed. The respondent then filed a writ petition under Art.226 of
At this stage, the limits of jurisdiction of the High Court in issuing a writ of certiorari under Art.226 of the Constitution need to be kept in mind. It has been held by a
Constitution Bench of this Court in Syed Yakoob v. K. S. Radhakrishnan, AIR 1964 SC
477 : 1964 (5) SC 64 as follows: (AIR pp. 479-80, para 7)
"7. The question about the limits of the jurisdiction of the High Courts in issuing a writ of certiorari under Art.226 has been frequently considered by this Court and the true legal position in that behalf is no longer in doubt. A writ of certiorari can be issued for correcting errors of jurisdiction committed by inferior courts or tribunals; these are cases where orders are passed by inferior courts or tribunals without jurisdiction, or is in excess of it, or as a result of failure to exercise jurisdiction. A writ can similarly be issued where in exercise of jurisdiction conferred on it, the court or tribunal acts illegally or improperly, as for instance, it decides a question without giving an opportunity to be heard to the party affected by the order, or where the procedure adopted in dealing with the dispute is opposed to the principles of natural justice. There is, however, no doubt that the jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari is a supervisory jurisdiction and the court exercising it is not entitled to act as an appellate court. This limitation necessarily means that findings of fact reached by the inferior court or tribunal as a result of the appreciation of evidence cannot be reopened or questioned in writ proceedings. An error of law which is apparent on the face of the record can be corrected by a writ, but not an error of fact, however grave it may appear to be. In regard to a finding of fact recorded by the tribunal, a writ of certiorari can be issued if it is shown that in recording the said finding, the tribunal had erroneously refused to admit admissible and material evidence, or had erroneously admitted inadmissible evidence which has influenced the impugned finding. Similarly, if a finding of fact is based on no evidence, that would be regarded as an error of law which can be corrected by a writ of certiorari. In dealing with this category of cases, however, we must always bear in mind that a finding of fact recorded by the tribunal cannot be challenged in proceedings for a writ of certiorari on the ground that the relevant and material evidence adduced before the tribunal was insufficient or inadequate to sustain the impugned finding. The adequacy or sufficiency of evidence led on a point and the interference of fact to be drawn from the said finding are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the tribunal, and the said points cannot be agitated before a writ court. It is within these limits that the jurisdiction conferred on the High Courts under Art.226 to issue a writ of certiorari can be legitimately exercised ...."
(3.)THE trial court, as well as the revisional court, had on appreciation of evidence come to the conclusion that the fourth respondent had sub-let the premises. In coming to the
conclusion, they had relied on a report of a Commissioner appointed by the trial court to
visit the premises. The Commissioner had found that somebody else was carrying on
business of selling ready - made garments inside and around the premises. Admittedly,
the fourth fourth respondent was not carrying on this business. The fourth respondent
had also not produced any licence to carry on any business nor produced any
documents like bills, vouchers, sale receipts, etc. to show that he had been carrying on
any business in the suit premises. It is on appreciation of this evidence that the suit had
been decreed and the revision dismissed. The High Court, however, reversed the
findings of the trial court and the revisional court on the reasoning that even if the entire
evidence is accepted, this would still not amount to a case of sub-letting. The High
Court held that at the most it would be a case of casual licence allowing persons to
temporarily store their goods inside or to do some business outside the shop by using
the patra and also on a chowki. On this reasoning, the High Court allowed the writ
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