1. At the stage of admission, the respondent-Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore, is notified. Accordingly, the respondent has put in appearance through a Government Pleader. Hence, the matter is taken up for final hearing.
2. This civil revision petition is directed against the order dated 25-7-1981 passed by the learned District Judge, Bangalore (Rural District), Bangalore, in Misc. 2 of 1979 holding that in an appeal under S. 298 of the Karnataka Municipalities Act, 1964 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), the Court has no power to remand the surcharge or charge proceeding to the original authority.
3. Section 296 of the Act. empowers the Commissioner to surcharge or charge illegal payment or loss caused by gross negligence or misconduct after following the procedure as is provided in the said section. Against an order of surcharge or charge, an appeal is provided to the District Court by an aggrieved person. Sub-see. (1) of S. 298 of the Act reads as follows:
'298. Application against order of surcharge or charge - (1) Any person aggrieved by any order of surcharge or charge made by the Commissioner under sub-see. (1) of S. 296 may, within one month from the receipt by him of the decision of the Commissioner either -
(a) apply to the District Court to set aside such order; and the court, after taking such evidence as it thinks necessary, may, confirm, modify or remit such surcharge or charge and make such orders as to costs as it thinks proper in the circumstances; or
(b) in lieu of such application apply to the Government which shall pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit.'
The learned District Judge, after quoting the aforesaid provision, has held as follows:
'It is clear from the said provisions that the District Court is empowered to set aside an order of discharge, after taking such evidence as it thinks necessary and may also confirm, modify or remit such surcharge or charge but it has no power to remand the case. Therefore, the prayer for remand of the case made by the learned Counsel for the petitioner, cannot be upheld. Point No. 1 is answered accordingly.'
Thus, it is clear that no reason is forthcoming for holding that the power of remand is not enjoyed by the appellate Court.
4. Clause (a) of sub-see. (1) of See. 298 of the Act, clearly provides that the District Court may confirm, modify or remit such surcharge or charge and make such orders as to costs as it thinks proper in the circumstances. Though sub-section (1) of S. 298 of the Act, does not state that an appeal lies to the District Court against the order of surcharge or charge passed by the Commissioner under sub-section (1) of S. 296 of the Act, but what is provided, in substance, is an appeal to the District Court. One of the essential contents of the appellate jurisdiction is to remand the case for fresh consideration or for consideration of particular issue as the case may be.
5. Though the word remit, has got more than one meaning, it may mean 'pardon', 'abate', 'refer'. 'send back or transmit to the lower Court. In the present case, the expression 'remit, is used in the context of appellate power. Therefore, in the context, the expression 'remit' is used in Cal. (a) of sub-section (1) of S. 298 of the Act, it means, to remand or send back to the original authority for fresh consideration. If it is interpreted to mean as pardoning or reducing, or remission of, surcharge or charge, the words preceding the expression remit, contained in C1. (a) of sub-section (1) of S, 298 of the Act, namely 'set aside such order' and 'modify' would be rendered otiose. It is a well recognized rule of interpretation that a statute should be interpreted in such a way that no portion of a statute is rendered otiose and every word contained in a statute should, as far as possible, be given a meaning. Therefore, in the context, the word 'remit, is used, it means only to remand the surcharge or charge.
Hence, the learned District Judge is not correct in holding that the Court has no power to remand the case. Of course, it need not be stated that if the appellate Court, in the instant case the District Court - is of the opinion that the case can be decided without remanding it, it will be acting within its jurisdiction if it decides it. But, on enquiry, it is of the opinion that it is necessary to remand the case, it has got an undoubted power to remand the surcharge or charge proceeding to the original authority.
6. Accordingly, the finding on point No. 1 recorded by the learned District Judge that the Court has no power to remand the case is set aside. With this clarification, the civil revision petition is disposed of.
7. Order accordingly.