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Smt. Sarla Devi Vs. Shri Balwan Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 910 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1969All601
ActsHindu Marriage Act, 1955 - Sections 21, 24 and 28; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908
AppellantSmt. Sarla Devi
RespondentShri Balwan Singh
Excerpt:
.....all orders appealable. the use of the words 'shall be regulated, as far as may be, by the code of civil procedure, 1908' in section 21 of the act clearly indicate that it is the procedure only which is to be regulated by the code of civil procedure. the words used 'and may be appealed from' in section 28 of the act clearly give a person aggrieved the right to file an appeal. the words 'and may be appealed from' occurring in section 28 of the act clearly mean that all the decrees and orders mentioned in section 28 of the act are appealable by virtue of that provision. the word 'and' clearly relates to the words all decrees and orders' with which section 28 of the act opens and the words 'may be appealed from' clearly indicate that 'all decrees and orders' mentioned in the opening part of..........marriage act (hereinafter referred to as the act), setting aside the order passed by the learned civil judge, varanasi, granting to smt. sarla devi, applicant before us, the expenses of the proceedings and maintenance pendente lite. the learned single judge before whom the revision application came up for hearing has referred the following question of law to us for decision:--'does an appeal lie against an order passed on an application under section 24 of the hindu marriage act ?'the question, therefore, is whether the appeal before sri abu saad was competent under the provisions of section 28 of the act.2. section 24 of the act reads:--'where in any proceeding under this act it appears to the court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income.....
Judgment:

Jagdish Sahai, J.

1. This civil revision is directed against an order passed by Sri Abu Saad, II Additional District Judge, Meerut, on 14-4-1965, in exercise of the appellate jurisdiction conferred by Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act), setting aside the order passed by the learned Civil Judge, Varanasi, granting to Smt. Sarla Devi, applicant before us, the expenses of the proceedings and maintenance pendente lite. The learned single Judge before whom the revision application came up for hearing has referred the following question of law to us for decision:--

'Does an appeal lie against an order passed on an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act ?'

The question, therefore, is whether the appeal before Sri Abu Saad was competent under the provisions of Section 28 of the Act.

2. Section 24 of the Act reads:--

'Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the Court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may on the application of the wife or the husband, 'order' the respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner's own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the Court to be reasonable.'

Section 28 of the Act reads:--

'All decrees and orders made by the Court in any proceeding under this Act shall be enforced in like manner as the decrees and orders of the Court made in the exercise of its original civil jurisdiction are enforced, and may be appealed from under any law for the time being in force:

Provided that there shall be no appeal on the subject of costs only.'

Section 28 of the Act provides -for two things; firstly that all orders made by the court in any proceeding shall be enforced in like manner as the decrees and orders of the court made in the exercise of its original civil jurisdiction and secondly all these orders may be appealed from. It is not disputed that the order passed under Section 24 of the Act if not complied with shall be enforced as an order of the Court. The words 'may be appealed from.........' clearly make all orders appealable. There is nothing in the Act to show that an order passed under Section 24 of the Act is excepted from the scope of the words mentioned above. (underlined (here in ' ') by us)

3. It has been contended that under Section 21 of the Act the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure have been made applicable to all proceedings and, therefore, whether or not an appeal would lie must be culled out from the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. Section 21 of the Act reads:--

'Subject to the other provisions contained in this Act and to such rules as the High Court may make in this behalf, all proceedings under this Act shall be regulated, as far as may be, by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.'

All that Section 21 of the Act provides for is that the proceedings under the Act shall be regulated by the Code of Civil Procedure. In other words the provision requires that the procedure to be followed in proceedings under the Act would be the one contained in the Civil Procedure Code. A right of appeal is a substantive right and is not a mere matter of procedure. The use of the words 'shall be regulated, as far as may be, by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908' in Section 21 of the Act clearly indicate that it is the procedure only which is to be regulated by the Code of Civil Procedure. Section 28 of the Act confers an unqualified right of appeal. The words used 'and may be appealed from' in Section 28 of the Act clearly give a person aggrieved the right to file an appeal. In our opinion, therefore, an order passed under Section 24 of the Act is appealable at the instance of a party aggrieved.

4. The words 'under any law for the time being in force' occurring in Section 28 of the Act, in our opinion, only mean that the appeal shall be governed by the provisions contained in the Act which deals with forums of Civil appeals in that area. The necessity for using this expression arose because of the circumstance that in different States there are different statutes 'in respect of Civil appeals. The Code of Civil Procedure does not provide the forum to which appeals would lie from decrees or orders. All that it does is to confer a right of appeal under certain circumstances. The forum to which an appeal would lie would be determined by the particular Act which applies to the State in which the appeal arises. For instance, for the purposes of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and Bengal it would be the provisions of the Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act which would determine the forum to which the appeal would lie. Similarly in Mysore State, it is the Mysore Civil Courts Act, in Madras State, it is the Madras Civil Courts Act and in Bombay State, it is the Bombay Civil Courts Act which would be the 'law for the time being in force.' The Legislature has used the words aforesaid because different States have different Acts dealing with forum for civil appeals. In our opinion, therefore, the second part of Section 28 of the Act makes every decree or order passed under the provisions of the Act appealable as of right, but the appeal would be regulated and governed by that particular local civil Act which rules in the State in which the appeal arises.

5. Our attention has been invited to a single Judge decision of this Court in F. A. F. O. No. 244 of 1959. Smt. Kusum Lata v. Jagdish Prasad, decided on 19-5-1960 by N. U. Beg, J. wherein the learned single Judge held that no appeal lies against an order passed under Section 24 of the Act. With great respect to N. U. Beg. J. we are of the opinion that the right of appeal would not be governed by the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. In fact the C. P. C. does not deal with forums to which appeals would lie.

6. Learned Counsel has next placed reliance upon a single Judge decision of Bombay High Court in Prithviraj Singji Mansinghji v. Bai Shivpravakumari, AIR 1960 Bom 315. In that case Gokhale, J. took the view that Section 28 of the Act does not provide for an appeal and the right of appeal must be culled out from the Code of Civil Procedure. We have already held above that Section 28 of the Act does provide for an appeal against every decree or order passed under the Act. Therefore, with great respect to Gokhale J. we are unable to agree with him.

7. Learned Counsel has next placed reliance upon a single Judge decision of the Calcutta High Court in Gopendra Nath Basu Malik v. Smt. Prativa Rani AIR 1962 Cal 455. The learned Judge has held that all that Section 28 of the Act provides in that the decrees or orders passed under the Act may be appealed from under any law for the time being in force and inasmuch as there is no law under which an appeal would lie against an order passed under Section 24 of the Act, no appeal lay against such an order. With great respect to the learned Judge 'we are unable to hold that the correct meaning of Section 28 of the Act is that the appeal must lie under the provisions of some other Act. We have already said that the language of Section 28 of the Act leads to the conclusion that it is that section which makes every decree or order appealable and all that the words 'under any law for the time being in force' mean is that the forum to which the appeal would lie would be determined by the civil law applicable to the particular area in which the order sought to be appealed is passed. Again with great respect to the learned Judge we can treat the words 'and may be appealed from' occurring in Section 28 of the Act as mere surplusages which would be the result if the Calcutta view is accepted.

8. Learned Counsel has also placed reliance upon Jalsutram Annapurnamma v. Jalasutram Ramkrishna Sastry, AIR 1959 Andh Pra 49 and B. Saraswathi v. B. Krishna Murthy AIR 1960 Andh Pra 30. We need not notice these decisions because a Full Bench of the same Court in K. Kutumba Rao v. K. Sesharatnamamba AIR 1967 Andh Pra 323 (FB) has overruled these cases and taken the same view which we are taking in this case,

9. In our opinion the meanings of the words used are unambiguous and plain. The words 'and may be appealed from' occurring in Section 28 of the Act clearly mean that all the decrees and orders mentioned in Section 28 of the Act are appealable by virtue of that provision. The word 'and' clearly relates to the words

'all decrees and orders' with which Section 28 of the Act opens and the words 'may be appealed from' clearly indicate that 'all decrees and orders' mentioned in the opening part of Section 28 are appealable as of right. If the section is read after deleting words unnecessary, for our purposes, it would run as follows:

'All decrees and orders made by the court in any proceeding under this Act ...may be appealed from under any law for the time being in force'.

No decree or order is excepted from this rule. An order passed under Section 24 is not a mere interlocutory order. It is an order passed in favour of a party requiring the other party to make certain payments. The only exception made by Section 28 of the Act is in respect of an appeal relating to costs only. That being the legal position, we are satisfied that in the present case the appeal before Sri Abu Saad was competent.

10. We would answer the question referred to us in the affirmative and say that an appeal lies against an order passed under Section 24 of the Act. The view that we are taking finds support from AIR 1967 Andh Pra 323 (FB) (supra), Paras Ram v. Janki Bai AIR 1961 All 395 (FB), Rukhmanibai v. Kishanlal Ramlal, AIR 1959 Madh Pra 187, Dr. Tarlochan Singh v. Smt. Mohinder Kuar, AIR 1961 Punj 508, Sunder Singh v. Smt. Manna Sunder Singh, AIR 1962 Punj 127 and Smt. Sobhana Sen v. Amar Kanta Sen, AIR 1959 Cal 455.

11. Let the papers be returned to the learned single Judge with the answer given above.


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