Satyanarayana Raju, O.C.J.
1. These two revision cases raise an identical question for determination and can be conveniently disposed of in a common order.
2. In both the revisions, petitions for eviction were filed by the landlords against their respective tenants under Section 7 of the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act (XXV of 1949) (hereinafter referred to as the repealed Act). After the Rent Controller disposed of the applications, the unsuccessful parties preferred appeals-to the Subordinate Judge's Court, Visakhapatnam. In one of the cases, the party filed a revision before the District Court, Visakhapatnam, under Section 12-B of the repealed Act. In the-other case, a revision was filed in the High Court against the appellate Order of the Subordinate Judge.
3. It may be mentioned that even during the-pendency of the applications for eviction before the Rent Controller the Andhra Pradesh Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction Control) Act, (XV) of 1960) (hereinafter referred to as the Act) became-law having come into force on 21-4-1960. The Act-provides a right of revision to the High Court from-the appellate orders of the Court of the Subordinate Judge.
4. The short question for consideration in both the revision petitions is whether the remedy by way of revision against the appellate order of the Sub Court lies to the District Court under Section 12-B of the repealed Act or whether the revision lies to the High Court under Section 22 of the Act. It is a well-settled principle of law chat a vested right of a litigant cannot be taken away by legislation in the course of a pending action unless the amending legislation is expressly made retrospective so as to affect such right. It is equally well established that the presumption against retrospective operation of a statute as regards vested rights applied not merely to substantive rights but applies equally to remedial rights, like rights of action, including rights of appeal, revision etc.
5. In a decision rendered by their Lordships of the Supreme Court, namely Garikapati Veerayya v. Subbiah Choudhary. (S) : 1SCR488 it was held that where a suit had been instituted before the date of the Constitution, the parties thereto had, from the date of the institution of the suit, a vested right of appeal, upon terms and conditions then in force. At page 454, (of SCJ) : (at p. 553 of AIR), their Lordships, on an exhausive review of all the earlier decisions, summarised the principles as follows:
'(1) That the legal pursuit of a remedy, suit, appeal and second appeal are really but steps in a series of proceedings all connected by an intrinsic unity and are to be regarded as one legal proceeding.
(ii) The right of appeal is not a mere matter of procedure but is a substantive right.
(iii) The institution of the suit carries with it the implication that all rights of appeal then in force are preserved to the parties thereto till the rest of the career of the suit.
(iv) The right of appeal is a vested right and such a right to enter the superior Court accrues to the litigant and exists as on and from the date the lis commences and although it may be actually exercised when the adverse judgment is pronounced such right is to be governed by the law prevailing at the date of the institution of the suit or proceeding and not by the law that prevails at the date of its decision or at the date of the filing of the appeal.
(v) This vested right of appeal can be taken away only by a subsequent enactment if it so provides expressly or by necessary intendment and not otherwise.
6. In the case before us, the lis commenced when the repealed Act was in force. Necessarily, therefore, the remedies by way of appeal and revision which were provided under the repealed Act, would ensure to the benefit of the parties during the rest of the career of the proceeding. There is no provision in the new Act which expressly or by necessary intendment takes away this right of revision provided under Section 12-B of the repealed Act.
7. We may also look at the matter from another point of view. Section 33 of the Act, which is entitled 'Repeals and Savings', provides (by Clause d) that 'any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, or punishment' provided under the repealed Act is saved. As rightly conceded by Sri Ramachandra Reddy learned counsel for the respondent, there is a clear indication in Section 33 (d) that the remedies provided under the repealed Act are preserved. Therefore, from a positive point of view, the remedy by way of revision provided under Section 12-B of the repealed Act is expressly preserved or saved.
8. For the above reasons, we hold that the right of revision provided under Section 12-B of the repealed Act is still available to the parties in the present case. If so, the revision filed by the unsuccessful party before the District Judge was a competent revision which that Court was bound to entertain.
9. On the above conclusions, it follows that C. R. P. No. 1557 of 1962 has to be remitted to the District Court, Visakhapatnam. The District Judge will re-entertain the revision on his file and dispose of it in accordance with law.
10. C. R. P. No 753 of 1962. The papers will be returned to the petitioner for being presented to the District Court, Visakhapatnam. There shall be an order accordingly in both the revisions. But there shall be no order as to costs in either of them.