S.S. Dhavan, J.
1. This is a defendant's second appeal from the concurrent decisions of the Courts below decreeing the plaintiff-respondent's suit for an injunction to restrain the defendants from interfering with his possession over three plots of land in the village. The plaintiff alleged that he was the sirdar of the plots but the defendants had threatened to take forcible possession of them and cutting his crops; hence the suit.
2. The defendants alleged that the plaintiff was not the sirdar of the plots and denied that he was the son of Angad who was admittedly the sirdar of the land. The first and second defendants claim to be sirdars of one plot and the third defenant of the remaining two plots. Both the Courts below disbelieved the defendants' story completely and held that the plaintiff is the son of Angad who was a tenant of the plots and was now the sirdar. The defendants' testimony that they were in possession of the plots was also disbelieved and the Courts have held the plaintiff in possession throughout. The defendants have now come to this Court in second appeal.
3. Learned counsel for the appellant urged only one point in support of this appeal. He contended that the question whether the plaintiff was a sirdar should have been referred by the learned Munsif to the revenue Court under Section 332-B of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act. It is conceded that this point was not raised either before the trial Court or the Additional Civil Judge in appeal and has been taken up for the first time In second appeal. The question is whether I should permit the appellant's learned counsel to raise it now. Learned counsel submits that I have no discretion in this matter and am bound to hear the appellants on this point which raises a question of law.
4. It is necessary to state a few essential facts. The suit was filed on 22nd March, 1956. On that date Section 332-B was not in existence and it is admitted that the Civil Court had jurisdiction to entertain and determine the suit including the question of sirdari rights, On 23th May, 1956, the amending Act XVIII of 1956 added Section 332-B I shall consider its effect on pending suits presently, but learned counsel contends that it became necessary under this Section for the trial Court to remit the question of sirdari rights to the Revenue Court. It is common ground that no such issue was remitted and the learned Munsif decided all the issues himself. The issues were framed on 10th October, 1956, when neither party raised any objection that the question of sirdari rights should, be sent to the Revenue Court for determination. On 10th December, 1956, the trial Court passed a decree restraining the defendants from interfering with the plaintiff's possession. The defendants went up in appeal which was dismissed by the Additional Civil Judge on 5th August, 1957. It is admitted that the defendants could have raised the objection that the trial Court had not remitted the issue to the Revenue Court, but they did not. On 12th November, 1957, the present second appeal was filed in this Court. While it was pending Section 332-B itself was repealed by U. P. Act XXXVII of 1958 which came into effect on 7-11-1958, and invested the Revenue Court with the exclusive jurisdiction to try the suits similar to the one filed by the plaintiff.
5. Thus it is conceded by the learned counsel for the appellants that the point of law raised by him today could have been raised by the defendants during the trial or the appeal before the Civil Judge but was not. He, however, contends that this fact is immaterial and the defendants have a right to be heard on a question of law even: if it is raised in second appeal for the first time. The jurisdiction of the trial Court is not challenged, for it is admitted that the trial Court had the jurisdiction to entertain and decide the suit and pass the decree. But it is contended that it did not follow the mandatory provision of Section 332-B which required it to remit the issue of sirdari rights to a Revenue Court, and the entire trial is vitiated by an illegal departure from the prescribed procedure.
6. In Mula v. Babu Ram : AIR1960All573 I took the view that the Court has an inherent power to refuse to entertain in second appeal a plea of law or jurisdiction which could have been raised before the trial Court or the appellate Court but was not and there is no satisfactory explanation of this omission. It was pointed out that the right of second appeal, which is conferred under Section 100 Civil Procedure Code is subject to the provisions of Section 151 which expressly preserves the inherent power of the Court to prevent any abuse of the process of Court and the Court has an inherent power to prevent the right of appeal being abused by an appellant who keeps back till the stage of second appeal points of law or jurisdiction which he could have raised during the trial, and thus places the other side at a disadvantage. Learned counsel however, submitted that my view in : AIR1960All573 was subsequently overruled by a Division Bench in Ram Chandra v. Muneshwar : AIR1962All248 . I have read that judgment with care and respect. Referring to : AIR1960All573 the learned Judges observed
'In : AIR1960All573 Dhavan, J., expressed the opinion that if this point in regard to the propriety or otherwise of remitting an issue to the Revenue Court or vice versa had not been raised in the Courts below, then such a question could not for the first time be raised in second appeal.'
With profound respect, I did not say in that judgment that the question could not be raised for the first time in second appeal but that it could toe raised only with the permission of the Court which had an inherent power to entertain or refuse to hear, in accordance with the demands of justice, points which were never raised at any earlier stage. In several cases, after the decision in : AIR1960All573 , I allowed A point of law to be taken for the first time in second appeal because a satisfactory explanation was given why it was not raised earlier or because it was in the interest of justice to do so. But in the present case I feel that it would not be in the interest of justice to allow the appellant to raise a new point, and the question is whether I am bound to entertain it.
In Maheshrey Tiwari v. Jarbandhan Misir : AIR1930All885 , it was held by a Division Bench of this Court that points of law which have not been raised before the appellate Court cannot be permitted to be raised for the first time in second appeal merely because they are points of law, unless good grounds can be shown for the failure to take them before the lower appellate Court. In that case the explanation offered for this failure was that the points were not noticed in the earlier stages precisely the one which has been offered in the present case but was rejected by the Court which refused to consider the point of law. In Sheodhan Kurmi v. Balkaran Kurmi AIR 1921 All 337, decided by a Full Bench of this Court, two Judges refused to entertain in second appeal a point of law, raised far the first time, that the suit was not maintainable (the third Judge rejected it on merits). In Ali Sher v. Naim AIR 1943 Oudh 365, Ghulam Hasan, J., refused to entertain an objection raised for the first time in second appeal that the suit was exclusively triable by the Revenue Court on the ground that the objection has not been taken in the lower Courts. The learned Judge did not give any detailed reasons for his refusal; evidently he assumed that the Court had an inherent discretion in this matter. In Kadu v. Smt. Koleman Bibi, 39 Cal WN 876 a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court refused to bear a plea in appeal that the trial Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition which gave rise to the appeal. The learned Judge has observed
'We do not think it right in the circumstances of this appeal that this point should be allowed to be raised for the first time in this appeal. It is true that it is a question of law and a question of jurisdiction of the District Judge which goes to the root of the matter. Still, Courts of appeal should always be chary of entertaining points which are not sifted in the Courts below.'
7. It appears to me therefore that the Court has an inherent power to prevent the abuse of the right of appeal by refusing to hear an appellant who raises a question of law or jurisdiction for the first time in second appeal and cannot give any explanation why he did not do so before the trial Court or the lower appellate Court, As pointed out in : AIR1960All573 this Court has freely exercised this power in petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution and applications under Section 115 Civil Procedure Code and refused to consider a point of law or of jurisdiction which was kept back from the Court or tribunal below. Learned counsel conceded that the Court has the discretion to refuse to interfere in petitions under Article 226 or applications for revisions under Section 115 Civil Procedure Code, but contended that it has no such discretion when hearing a point of law for the first time in a second appeal, under Section 100 Civil Procedure Code which confers a right of appeal. This argument was fully considered in : AIR1960All573 and rejected on the ground that the inherent jurisdiction of the Court to prevent abuse of the process of the Court remains unimpaired in all proceedings. I see no reason to change my view.
8. Learned counsel for the appellants urged that I am bound by the view of the Division Bench in : AIR1962All248 which purports to have overruled the view taken in : AIR1960All573 . But the principle of law laid down in that case is that a question of law may be raised for the first time in second appeal. This is not inconsistent with the view taken in : AIR1960All573 that any question of law can be raised for the first time in second appeal only with the permission of the Court. Whether permission should be given or not is a matter within the discretion of the Court hearing the appeal. In : AIR1960All573 it was not granted, whereas in : AIR1962All248 it was. I do not think it is possible to lay down a rigid rule tying up the discretion of the Court in all future cases. If it was intended to lay down a general principle that the Court's discretion is taken away whenever a question of law or jurisdiction is raised for the first time in second appeal, this view would be in conflict with the earlier decisions of this Court (and of the Calcutta High Court). A Single Judge is bound by the view of a Division Bench only if it does not conflict with an earlier decision of another Division Bench.
9. I do not think the defendants have suffered any material prejudice or injustice by the procedure followed by the Courts below. They led evidence without protest and lost after a fair trial and their appeal was dismissed on merits by a competent Court. It will be very unfair to the plaintiff to permit them to raise a question which,could have been urged before the Courts below,and which may result in the sending of this dispute back to the starting point after a lapse of sixyears.
10. The appeal is dismissed with costs.Leave to appeal is refused.