1. Whether an appeal lies to this Court against the judgment of the Sikh Gurdwaras Judicial Commission delivered in proceedings under Section 124(2) of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, is the only question that has been agitated in this appeal.
2. The facts are not in dispute. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar had brought the petition under Section 124(2) of the Act before the Commission for the realisation of Rs. 39,966/- as the religious fund assessed by it under Section 108B of the said Act from the Committee of Management of Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Ambala City. The Commission repelled a preliminary objection that the petition was not maintainable and held that the application was competent under Section 124 read with Section 108 C of the Act. On merits also the Commission held in favour of the applicant and granted the decree for the amount prayed for. Aggrieved by the said order the appellant has come up by way of this appeal and the admitting Bench directed this appeal to be heard by a Division Bench in order to authoritatively settle the matter whether the present appeal is competent.
3. The relevant provision of the Sikh Gurdhwaras Act, which has been brought to our notice S. 142(3) which provides for an appeal to this High Court against an order passed by the Commission under the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2)thereof. Reference to the provisions of Section 142(1) would show that it provides that any person having interest in a notified Sikh Gurdwara may make an application for any alleged malfeasance, misfeasance, breach of trust, neglect of duty and abuse of powers conferred by this Act against the Board, the Executive Committee of the Board or the Committee or against any member or past member of the Board or against any office-holder or past office-holder of the Gurdwara as also against any employee past or present of the Board or the Gurdwara. Similarly Section 142(2) provides for the making of similar application to the Commission in the like manner. A bare reference to the judgment under appeal would show that the proceedings before the commission in the present case cannot even remotely be brought within the ambit of Section 142(1) or (2) of the said statute. In fact when faced with the relevant provisions. Mr. Ambalvi for the appellant fairly conceded that the proceedings before the Commission were under neither of the above said two sub sections and therefore the provisions of sub-section (3) of Section 142 which provide for an appeal were not attracted in the present case.
4. Mr. Ambalvi had then adverted to Sections 124 and 108B of the Act. We have closely perused the above-said provisions and there is nothing therein which could possibly lend support tot he contention on behalf of the appellant that an appeal would lie to this Court for proceedings under the above-said sections. Now it is well-settled that the right to appeal is not an inherent one. It is entirely the creature of the statute. As both Sections 124 and 108B make no provision for any appeal, it is obvious that under either of these provisions also the present appeal would be incompetent.
5. In fairness to Mr. Ambalvi we notice that ultimately the learned counsel conceded that neither under S. 108B nor S. 124 any appeal lay and he argued that his only remedy. If at all should be under Arts. 226 and 227 of the Constitution, Counsel prayed before us that we should treat the present appeal as a writ petition under those Articles. We are wholly disinclined to do so, but we would observe that the rejection of the present appeal as incompetent would not in any way prejudice the rights of the appellant to seek such other remedies which at law may be available to him.
6. We consequently hold that the appeal is incompetent and dismiss the same, however without any order as to costs.
M.R. Sharma, J.
7. I agree.
8. Appeal dismissed.