1. This revisional application is against an order granting review. The short facts relevant for the present purposes are as follows. The petitioner filed an application B. A. D. Rules No. 1208 of 1950 for adjustment of his debts alleging that the transaction made in favour of the respondents in 1899 was a mortgage and that it was subsisting. The respondents resisted the proceeding. The trial Court found that the transaction was not a mortgage and, therefore, dismissed the application. The petitioner filed an appeal to the District Court being Appeal No. 10 of 1956, which the District Court decided on June 20, 1959. The District Court held that the transaction was a mortgage. Accordingly, it made an award adjusting the debts. The respondents filed a revisional application to this Court being Revisional Application No. 1502 of 1959, which was decided by me on April 19, 1961. I discharged the rule. At the time of the arguments in the revisional application. the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents tried to produce a decree in an old suit being Suit No. 277 of 1900. The reason for producing the decree was that it was the respondents' case that the equity of redemption of the petitioner was exhausted as the property was already disposed of and purchased by the respondents. In support, the respondents-produced a Lilav Patti only in the trial court. The learned trial Judge had no occasion to consider the Lilav Petti for the reason that he held that the original transaction was in the nature of sale. The appellate Court, however, came to the conclusion that the original transaction was in the nature of mortgage. He then proceeded to consider the alternative case that the respondents became entitled to the equity of redemption in execution proceedings. The learned Judge held that the Lilav Patti did not give a correct idea as to what was the nature of the suit and who the other defendants in the proceedings were. He, therefore, did not accept the respondents' case. It may also be mentioned that though it was the respondents' allegation that the property was sold in execution of the decree, they did not and could not produce any sale certificate of the Court, In the revisional application the learned counsel relied upon the decree to show the nature of the suit, the names of the parties and the ultimate decree made bythe Court and on the basis of that decree he tried to contend that the Lilav Patti must be accepted and also the case of the respondents. I did not permit him to produce the said decree on the ground that additional evidence could not be received in a second appeal much less in a revisional application. I made a passing observation as below:... He might have, if soadvised, been able to make an application for review in the lower Court. This Court cannot receive fresh evidence.'
2. The respondents made a fruitless effort to approach the Supreme Court by applying for special leave. I understand that that application was dismissed in December 1961. The respondents thereafter filed a review application in the Court of the District Judge along with an application for condonation of delay. The learned Assistant Judge condoned the delay and permitted the review application to be filed. The petitioner came to this Court by way of revision against that order, but having regard to the reasons given by the learned Judge, I rejected the same. Thereafter, the learned Judge heard the application. He granted review and set aside the original judgment and dismissed the petitioner's application in toto. The petitioner now comes to this Court.
3. It is argued by Mr. Lalit, for the petitioner, that after the High Court decided the revisional application on merits, it would be impossible for the District Court to review its earlier order. Secondly, the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction under Order 47, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure were not satisfied. Thirdly, he argued that even if it had the power of review, the decree refers only to a few of the lands and not all the five lands covered by the original application and the learned Judge, therefore, was not right in dismissing the entire application of the petitioner. As Mr. Lalit succeeds on the first point, it is not necessary for me to go into the merits of the other points.
4. A review application is permitted under Order 47, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure in three kinds of cases, (1) where an appeal against the decree of which review is sought is allowed, but no such appeal is filed,(2) where no appeal is allowed, and(3) where a decision is made on a reference from a Court of Small Causes. The Code itself does not define what an appeal is. It has been held in Nagendra Nath Dey v. Suresh Chandra Dey that the word 'appeal' in Art. 182(2) of Schedule I of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 would include a revision application orany application made to a superior Court for reversing the order of the inferior Court. This principle has been applied by the High Court of Madras in Chidambara v. Rama AIR 1937 Mad 385 again in connection with Art. 182(2) of the Limitation Act. In my view, the same principle holds in construing the word 'appeal' in this provision.
5. In Shivappa v. Ramchandra ILR 46 Bom 1 = AIR 1922 Bom 130 an appeal was dismissed by this Court under Order 41. Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure summarily, and thereafter an application for review was filed before the lower Court. The lower Court had allowed the review. This Court held that even though the appeal has been dismissed summarily, no application for review could be made to the lower Court, and this could only be on the ground that the decree of the original Court had merged in the appellate Court. Even if the revisional application is dismissed summarily, the same principle should apply.
6. Mr. Paranjpe, for the respondents, argues that Order 47 of the Civil P. C. speaks only of an appeal. He contends that the distinction between an appeal and a revisional application is well marked in the Civil P. C. and, therefore, the ratio of the Privy Council decision ought not to be applied to cases governed by Order 47 as injustice may be done in such cases if review was not permissible. I do not see any justification for restricting the meaning of the word 'appeal' only to the appeal in its stricter sense. The considerations which operate in the case of appeals apply in the case of revisional application. In my view, the basis of Order 47, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure requiring that an appeal should not have been filed or that an appeal should not lie seems to be that, once an appeal is filed before the appellate Court and that appeal is dismissed the trial Court's decree must necessarily merge in the appellate Court's decree with the result that the trial Court's decree has no independent existence apart from the appellate Court's decree.
7. Mr. Paranjpe cited the decision in Sipahimalani v. Fidahussen : (1956)58BOMLR344 where the question arose in a slightly different context An application was decided by the Custodian of Evacuee Property, and a revision application was filed before the Custodian General, whose office was situated at Delhi. This application was dismissed. An application was made to this court under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India for a writ challenging that decision. On behalf of the State acontention was taken that this Court under Arts. 226 and 227 of the Constitution as they originally stood, would have no jurisdiction to entertain the application, in as much as the order of the Custodian had merged in the order made by the Custodian-General, whose office was not situated within the jurisdiction of this High Court. The learned Chief Justice, who delivered the judgment of the Court, made a distinction between a revisional application and an appeal saying that an appeal is as a matter of right while a revisional application is not a matter of right, but a discretion is vested in the Court either to grant or reject it depending upon the justice of the cause. He, therefore, held that though an order of the trial court may merge in the order of the appellate Court, which hears an appeal, it would not merge in the order made in the revisional application, when the revisional application is rejected. It is not necessary to refer to similar other decisions since later decisions of the Supreme Court do not support this conclusion. Reference was also made by Mr. Paranjpe to the decision of the Supreme Court in U. P. State v. Mohd. Nooh. AIR 1958 SC 86 where again the question of merger was considered in a different context. There a Government servant was dismissed prior to the Constitution coming into force. His appeal and petitions to the authorities were dismissed after the Constitution came into force. A writ petition was thereafter presented to the High Court for quashing those proceedings. It was contended on behalf of the State that Arts. 226 and 227 were not of retrospective application. While considering this question, the learned Chief Justice speaking for the majority observed that the order made by the Inspector-General of Police was fully operative, that mere application in revision did not affect the operation of that order and that being so, Arts. 226 & 227 of the Constitution could not retrospectively apply. The question of merger was incidentally canvassed and considered and their Lordships held that there was no merger- This decision has been explained in subsequent cases in Madan Gopal Rungta v. Secy. to the Govt. of Orissa : AIR1962SC1513 and Collector of Customs v. East India Commercial Co. : 2SCR563 . In the latter case, detailed reasoning has been given and it has been held that the decision in AIR 1958 SC 86 was based on its own facts, the ratio being that since the cause of action arose prior to the coming into force of the Constitution, remedy under Arts. 226 and 227 of the Constitution was not available. The Supreme Court held that the order of the lower authoritymerged in the order of the revising authority.
8. On the question as to whether the lower Court's decree would merge in the decree made by the High Court in its revisional jurisdiction, there is a recent judgment of the Supreme Court in Shankar Ramchandra Abhyankar v. Krishnaji Dattatraya Bapat, Civil Appeal No. 870 of 1966, D/-16-4-1969 = (reported in : 1SCR322 ). The question arose in the following circumstances: The appellant before the Supreme Court filed a suit for recovery of possession against his tenant under Bombay Rent Control Act. The trial court made a decree for a part of the premises in favour of the landlord. Both the sides appealed to the District Court. The learned Extra Assistant Judge held that such a division could not be ordered, but confirmed the decree of the trial court on the ground that it was equitable. The tenant then applied in revision under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. A Single Judge of this Court after hearing dismissed it on the ground that no case was made out for interference under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Thereafter, the tenant filed a petition under Arts. 226 and 227 of the Constitution challenging the order of the District Court. This court held that as the revisional application had failed on preliminary question only of jurisdiction. the order of the District Court had not merged in that of the High Court in its revisional jurisdiction and, therefore, the matter was at large for consideration under Art. 227 of the Constitution. Ultimately, after hearing the court allowed the tenant's application. The landlord approached the Supreme Court, which after referring to its own decisions particularly those referred to above, held that even though the revisional jurisdiction was a very limited jurisdiction and could be exercised only in certain circumstances, inasmuch as the revisional application was dismissed by the High Court, the appellate Court's order has merged in the High Court's order.
9. Once it is held that the order made by the learned Assistant Judge had merged in the order of the High Court in Civil Revision Application No. 1502 of 1959. I do not see how any application for review could be maintained before the District Court. In my view, therefore, the learned Assistant Judge was not right in allowing the review application.
10. In the result, the rule is made absolute, the order made by the learned Assistant Judge dated December 9, 1966 is set aside and the original order of thelearned Assistant Judge as confirmed in Civil Revision Application No. 1502 of 1959 is restored. The petitioner will get his costs of this court and of the lower appellate Court in the review application from respondent No. 1.
11. Rule made absolute.