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NaraIn Das and ors. Vs. Chiranji Lal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1925All364
AppellantNaraIn Das and ors.
RespondentChiranji Lal
Excerpt:
.....were to have a decree only for rs. in our opinion the words for any other sufficient reason in order 47, rule 8 are not only very wide in themselves, but wore intentionally so made by the legislature, because of the possibility of exceptional cases arising in which obvious injustice would be worked by strict adherence to the terms of the decree as originally passed. it is quite true that under order 43, rule 1 an appeal is allowed against an order granting an application for review of judgment, but that rule is obviously controlled by the provisions of order 47, rule 7. taken together, the effect of the two rules is that, though an appeal against such an order lies, it must be supported only on the one or other of the grounds set forth in order 47, rule 7 and must fail unless it can be..........the time. the first application presented by them purported to be under section 148 of the code of civil procedure, and this application was necessarily rejected by the court in. view, of the full bench decision in suranjan singh v. rambahal lal (1913) 35 all. 582. immediately, and on the very same day, the plaintiffs presented an alternative application, asking the court to review its judgment and by way of such review to give them more time within which to comply with the specified condition. the court fixed a date for enquiry into this matter and after hearing one of the plaintiffs and examining certain documentary evidence, came, in substance, to the conclusion that the plaintiffs had been prevented from complying exactly with the terms of the decree as originally passed by a cause.....
Judgment:

Piggott, J.

1. This appeal arises out of a litigation; the whole facts and circumstances of which we have been considering on a regular First Appeal from the decree itself. 'We think it unnecessary to recapitulate any facts beyond those necessary to make it clear what the precise point now before us is. There was a decree passed between the parties on the 3rd of January, 1922, That decree was in an alternative form. The plaintiffs were to have a right to recover Rs. 15,000 with costs from the defendants, provided they fulfilled a certain antecedent condition. That condition was that 63 bales of cotton, and by this was meant 63 specified bales, which had been subject matter of litigation in the suit, should be delivered by the plaintiffs to the defendants at the latters' shop at Meerut on or before the 3rd March, 1922. If the plaintiffs failed to comply with this condition, then they were to have a decree only for Rs. 7,125 with proportionate costs. On the 3rd of March, 1922 the plaintiffs applied to the Court to extend the time. The first application presented by them purported to be under Section 148 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and this application was necessarily rejected by the Court in. view, of the Full Bench decision in Suranjan Singh v. Rambahal Lal (1913) 35 All. 582. Immediately, and on the very same day, the plaintiffs presented an alternative application, asking the Court to review its judgment and by way of such review to give them more time within which to comply with the specified condition. The Court fixed a date for enquiry into this matter and after hearing one of the plaintiffs and examining certain documentary evidence, came, in substance, to the conclusion that the plaintiffs had been prevented from complying exactly with the terms of the decree as originally passed by a cause outside their control. That cause was the refusal of a Railway Company at Bombay to provide the plaintiffs with the necessary wagon or wagons for the conveyance of the bales of cotton from that place to Delhi, or to Meerut, and this refusal was again due to the existence of a strike on one of the Railways - we believe on the East Indian Railway - in consequence of which certain bookings had been suspended at Bombay. The Court came to the conclusion that the plaintiffs had shown sufficient cause for their inability to comply with the terms of the decree as originally passed, and it granted a review of judgment by which the original decree was modified and the date April 19th was substituted for the date March 3rd. In passing this order the Court avowedly and expressly acted in the exercise of its powers of review under Section 114 and Order 47 of the Code of Civil Procedure. We must take it that in the opinion of the Court the plaintiffs had shown sufficient cause for the granting of a review of the decree 'for any other sufficient reason.'

2. We have before us an appeal by the defendants against that order. This appeal, excepting so far as it deals with the merits of the question, is based mainly upon the technical ground that the words 'for any other sufficient reason' in Order 47, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, must not be extended' to matters which are not strictly, ejusdem generis with those referred to in the earlier part of the rule. Reliance is also placed on the argument that a Court should not be permitted to do in the guise of a review of judgment, something which, according to the decisions of this Court, it is not expressly empowered to do either by Section 148 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or by any other rule under the said Code. To this latter argument we attach little importance. Either the Court had power to review its judgment under Order 47, Rule 1 and Section 114 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or it had not. If it had, it was acting within its jurisdiction. We have been referred to one case decided in revision by a Bench of this Court, namely that of Kanhai Singh v. Mt. Kundan (1920) 42 All. 639, in which it is suggested the learned Judges held that an order very similar to the one now before us had been passed without jurisdiction. In that case the learned Judges expressly held that the order with which they were dealing could not possibly be taken to be an order passed by way of review or judgment. The order now before us expressly is an order passed by way of review of judgment. In our opinion the words for any other sufficient reason in Order 47, Rule 8 are not only very wide in themselves, but wore intentionally so made by the legislature, because of the possibility of exceptional cases arising in which obvious injustice would be worked by strict adherence to the terms of the decree as originally passed. We are not prepared to hold that the Court below was outside its jurisdiction in passing the order now under appeal.

3. The next question is whether that order can be successfully attacked on the merits. We are bound to say that there is something to be said on the merits against the coursa followed by the trial Court If the evidence laid before the learned Subordinate Judge is examined in detail, it will be seen that the position remains somewhat as follows. The plaintiffs had time from the 3rd of January to the 3rd of March, 1922 within which to take certain steps. They began to interest themselves actively in the matter on the 3rd of February, 1922. They were then prevented by cause wholly beyond their control from carrying out the order of the Court within the period of one month then left to them. It is a very arguable point whether the plaintiff, who was examined by the learned Subordinate Judge, did offer any reasonable explanation of the delay between the 3rd of January and the 3rd of February, 1922. On the other hand, there is some force in the contention of counsel representing the plaintiffs-respondents, that this point was never pressed in cross-examination when the plaintiff was in the witness-box. We think, however, that on this point the plaintiffs have a technical answer to the appeal which must be allowed to prevail. It is quite true that under Order 43, Rule 1 an appeal is allowed against an order granting an application for review of judgment, but that rule is obviously controlled by the provisions of Order 47, Rule 7. Taken together, the effect of the two rules is that, though an appeal against such an order lies, it must be supported only on the one or other of the grounds set forth in Order 47, Rule 7 and must fail unless it can be brought within the scope of the grounds set forth in that rule. This has always been the view of this Court, and it was so affirmed in the older case of Ali Akbar v. Khurshed Ali (1905) 17 All. 695 under the former Code of Civil Procedure. The point is, if anything, even clearer under the present Code. In our opinion the arguments addressed to us on the merits in support of this appeal cannot be brought within the purview of any of the clauses of Order 47, Rule 7 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The appeal must, therefore, fail and we dismiss it with costs.


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