(1) This is an application under Art. 133 of the Constitution of India read with sections 109 and 110 and Order 45, Code of Civil Procedure, for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
(2) In a suit brought by Sodhi Sukhdev Singh against the State of Punjab the plaintiff summoned a number of documents from the defendant in respect of which privilege was claimed. The trial Court upheld the privilege, but on revision we varied the order of the trial Court with respect to some of the documents. With respect to those document also it was expressly mentioned in the order passed by us that the question of their relevancy, if permissible under the law, was open to be raised by the Department in the trial Court.
(3) It has been frankly--and in our opinion rightly--conceded by Dewan Chetan Das Assistant Advocate-General that the order against which certificate of fitness for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court is sought is not a 'final order' within the contemplation of Article 133 of the Constitution. He has, however, contended that our decision would certainly be a judgment and, therefore, it is competent for the Court to certify it to be a fit case for appeal to the Supreme Court under Article 133. In support of his contention he has drawn out attention to Central Brokers v. Ramnarayanan Podder and Co., AIR 1954 Mad 1057.
This case deals with the meaning of the word 'judgment' as used in Clause 15 of the Letters Patent of the Madras High Court, but even in this case it has been held that an order made under section 10, Code of Civil Procedure, or any other provision of law, for the stay of trial of a suit, does not amount to a judgment so as to be appealable under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent. The words 'judgment, decree or final order' as used in Article 133 appear to me to connote that the expression 'judgment' must be taken in the same sense as the word 'decree' in the Code of Civil Procedure and must be construed as meaning the declaration of final determination of the rights of the parties.
The finality must be a finality in relation to the suit and if after the order the suit is till a live suit in which the rights of the parties have yet to be determined, it will in my opinion, not fall within the purview of Article 133. Similar words occurring in section 205 of the Government of India Act, 1935, came up for construction before the Federal Court in Mohammad Amin Brothers Ltd. v. Dominion of India, AIR 1950 FC 77 and B. K. Mukherjea J. (as he then was) disposed of a similar argument in the following words :--
'Lastly, it was urged by Mr. Setalavad, though somewhat faintly, that even if the order appealed against is not a final one, it could still be regarded as a judgment and as such would come with in the purview of section 205(1), Government of India Act. In English courts the word 'judgment' is used in the same sense as a 'decree' in the Civil Procedure Code and it mean the declaration or final determination of the rights of the parties in the matter brought before the Court vide Kuppuswami Rajasthan v. The King, 1947 FCR 180 at p. 189: (AIR 1949 FC 1 at p. 4). According to the definition given in the Civil Procedure Code, a judgment is the statement of reasons given by a Judge on which a decree or order is based. If the order which is made in this case is an interlocutory order, the judgment and the collocation of the words 'judgment, decree or final order' in section 205(1), Government of India Act, makes it clear that no appeal is provided for against an interlocutory judgment or order'.
This reasoning fully applies to the construction to be placed on the words 'judgment, decree or final order' occurring in Article 133 of the Constitution.
(4) The respondent has also drawn our attention to the fact that even with respect to the admission of these documents as evidence in the suit, the impugned order of this Court can obviously not be considered to be final, because their relevancy is yet to be determined by the trial court. I do not find it necessary to express any opinion on this contention, because independently of it, the order in question is neither a judgment nor a final order.
(5) For the reasons given above, this petition fails and is hereby dismissed. The interim stay order passed by us on 8th of March 1960 is also hereby vacated. In the circumstances of the case there will be no order as to costs of these proceedings.
(6) Petition dismissed.