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Harbans Singh Vs. J.D. JaIn and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Miscellaneous (Main) Appeal No. 148 of 1971
Judge
Reported in8(1972)DLT329
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Court fees Act, 1870 - Sections 4
AppellantHarbans Singh
RespondentJ.D. JaIn and ors.
Advocates: C.P. Wig,; R.L. Aggarwal and; S.N. Marwah, Ad
Cases Referred and Cantonment Board v. Messrs Lackhman Das Hari Ram. But
Excerpt:
.....the case debated on the necessity of the requisite court fee stamp, on the award of the industrial tribunal passed under the industrial disputes act, 1947 - the court fee was levied on the documents filed along with the writ petition - it was ruled that, it was not an administrative order but an judicial order passed by the quasi-judicial tribunal - thus, the award must bear the requisite court fee stamp - - marwaha, standing counsel for delhi administration, have, thereforee appeared before me and they as well as the learned counsel for the petitioners have been heard. if the court is satisfied on the averments in the petition itself and the affidavits filed alone with it that there is ground to proceed further the court may admit the petition and issue a rule nisi but in order to be..........copies of the impugned judgments, orders or proceedings, the question then arises whether such copies filed either suo motu by the petitioner along with the petition or in obedience to the direction given by the court should be certified copies and should also bear the requiste court fees under the court-fees act. as observed by the supreme court in the state of uttar pradesh v. c. tobi 'the question whether a copy in a particular section msans a plain copy era certified copy must depend on the subject or context in which the word 'copy' is used insuch section.'the supreme court has also proceeded to lay down several tests for determining whether the copy required in a particular case meant a plain copy or a certified copy. quoting from maxwell's interpretation of statutes, the.....
Judgment:

M.R.A. Ansari, J.

(1) This order will dispose ofC. M. (M) Nos 148, 151, 152 and 156 of 1971.

(2) These petitions arc filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. In C. M (M) No. 148/71, the petitioner has challenged the validity of the judgment dated 8th June, 1971 of the Additional District Judge, Delhi in R C. A. No 95 of 1969. A certified but unstamped copy of the judgment of the additional District Judge has been filed along with this petition as Annexure 'G' The petitioner has also filed Annexures 'A','B' 'C' and 'P which are copies of the orders and judgments of various courts. One of them, namely, Annexure 'C', is a certified copy and the others annexures are copies which have been attested by the petitioner's advocate as true copies. Annexure 'D' is a copy of the cross objections filed in R.CA. No. 121/69 and Annexure 'E' is a copy of the brief notes of arguments on behalf of the petitioner herein who was respondent No. 2 before the Additional District Judge, Delhi. The copies of Annexures 'D'and'E' are also attested by the petitioner's advocate as true copies. None of the Annexures 'A' to 'F' bear any court-fee stamp.

(3) In the other petitions, the petitioners have challenged the awards of the Industrial Tribunal, Delhi in reference I. D. No. 59 of 1968 dated 2nd September, 1969 and in reference I.D. No. 58/70 dated 11th February, 1971 and reference I.D. No. 154/69 dated 2nd May, 1970. Along with these petitions, copies of the awards of the Industrial Tribunal have been filed and these copies are certified to be true copies by the petitioners' advocate. None of these copies bears any stamp.

(4) In C.M. No. 148/71, the office raised the following objections :- 1. Annexures 'A' to 'G' should be duly stamped; 2. Copy of the decree should also be duly stamped; and 3. It should be stated as to how petition under Article 227 of the 7 Constitution is competent when another remedy of further appeal against the judgment and decree of Additional District Judge dated 8th June, 1971 is/was available. In the other three petitions, the only objection raised by the office is that certified copy of the award impugned should be filed. C.M. No. 148/81 was re-filed with the following reply to the objections raised by the office:-

'1.That the present petition is under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and as such the annexures filed with the said petition are not required to be stamped and the same rules regarding exemption from affixing stamp on annexures filed with writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution apply. 2. As the decree sheet is one of the annexures and, as such it is not necessary to affix stamp on it. 3. As the impugred order by respondent No. 1 is without jurisdiction, thereforee, petition under Article 227 of the Constitution is maintainble in view of : AIR1968All119 .' The other petitions were also re filed with the following reply to the objection raised by the office :- 'In a petition under Article 227 certified copies are not necessary.'

(5) At the instance of the counsel for the petitioners, the petitions were placed before the Court for consideration of the objections raised by the office and the replies thereto by the petitioners. These petitions were, thereforee, placed for admission before the Court. Rangarajan J., before whom these petitions came up for admission, called for a detailed report from the office and accordingly, the office has submitted a report explaining the objections raised by it. in this report, reference was made to Article 9 to Schedule I of the Court-Fees Act and to certain observations of 1. D.Dua, J., (as he then was) in Faqir Chand Anant Ram v. Gopi Chand, Reference was also made to a notice issued by the Registrar under the directions of the Chief Justice to the effect that under the rules of the Court and the law, only certified copies can be taken on record. Rangarajan J. there-upon directed the 'Registry to request the President of the Bar to assist the Court in this matter and also directed the issue of a notice to the Standing Counsel for the State A letter was accordingly addressed to the President of the Delhi High Court Bar Association and a notice was also issued to the Standing Counsel for the Stale. Mr. R. L. Aggarwal, President of the Delhi High Court Bar Association and Mr. S. N. Marwaha, Standing counsel for Delhi Administration, have, thereforee appeared before me and they as well as the learned counsel for the petitioners have been heard.

(6) It may at this stage be stated that arguments were addressed only on the objections raised by the office with regard to the filing of uncertified and unstamped copies of the various annexures to the petitions. No arguments were addressed on the objection raised by the office in C. M. No. 148/71 regarding the maintainability of the petition under Article 227 of the Constitution when another remedy of further appeal against the judgment and decree of the Additional District Judge dated 8th June, 1971 is/was available. thereforee, this objection is not being considered at this stage.

(7) It may be straighta way stated that there are no specific rules framed by this Court with regard to the procedure for the admission and disposal of petitions under Article 227 of the Constitution. Certain rules have been framed only for the issue of writs of mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. These rules are contained in Vol. V, Part Ii (Civil), Ch. 4-F(b) of the rules of the High Court. The relevant rules may be reproduced ;-

'1.Every petition for the issue of any direction, order or writ in the nature of mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto or certiorari, mentioned in Article 227 of the Constitution of India, shall be in writing and shall set out the name and description of the petitioner, the nature of the relief sought and the grounds on which it is sought, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit verifying the facts relied on, and at least three copies of the petition and affidavit shall be lodged in the Registry. The petition shall state whether the petitioner has moved the Supreme Court for similar relief and if so, copies of the said petition to the Supreme Court and the order made thereon shall also be filed. 4. The rule nisi together with a copy of the petition, the affidadavit in support thereof, the other, accompanying documents and of any ad-interim order therein together with acopy of the application on which such order based shall be served on the respondent not less than date fixed for the hearing. Affidavits in opposition shall be filed in the Registry not later than 10 days before the date appointed for the hearing and affidavits in reply shall be filed not latter than 2 days before the date appointed for the hearing. Copies of affidavits in opposition or reply shall be served on the opposite party or parties, and the affidavits shall not be accepted in Registry unless they contain an endorsement of service signed by such party or parlies. Every party to the Proceeding shall supply to any other party on demand and on payment of the proper charges, copies of any affidavit filed by him. 6. Where no ad interim relief is granted, the rule nisi and the accompanying documents shall, ordinarily, be served.by the petitioner on the respondent and upon such service being effected, the - petitioner shall file in the Registry an affidavit of such service. The said afiliavit of service shall be filed at least 10 days before the date appointed for the hearing. Provided that the Registrar may on the application of the petitioner direct the process to be served by the Court.'

(8) It would be reasonable to assume that these rules will be applicable also to petitions under Article 227 of the Constitution to the extent that such application is permissible. From a perusal of these rules, it will be at once obvious that the copies required to be filed along with the petition under rule I, the copies required to be served on the respondent under rule 4 as also the copies of the affidavits and other documents which each party shall supply to the other party under rule 4 and also the documents referred to in rule 6 are not certified copies nor are they required to be stamped under the Court-Fees Act. But it is equally obvious that the copies referred to in these rules are not copies of the judgment, order or other proceedings of a court, tribunal or other authority which are impugned by the petitioner under Article 227 of the Constitution. As a matter of fact, these rules do not require that copies of such judgment, order or proceedirgs should at all be filed along with the petition. If the Court is satisfied on the averments in the petition itself and the affidavits filed alone with it that there is ground to proceed further the Court may admit the petition and issue a rule nisi But in order to be satisfied that there is a ground for issuing a rule nisi, the Court can require the petitioner to file copies of the impugned judgments, orders or other proceedings. The petitioner himself may also file along with the petition copies of the impugned judgments, orders or proceedings, The question then arises whether such copies filed either suo motu by the petitioner along with the petition or in obedience to the direction given by the Court should be certified copies and should also bear the requiste court fees under the Court-Fees Act. As observed by the Supreme Court in The State of Uttar Pradesh v. C. Tobi

'The question whether a copy in a particular section msans a plain copy era certified copy must depend on the subject or context in which the word 'copy' is used insuch section.'

The Supreme Court has also proceeded to lay down several tests for determining whether the copy required in a particular case meant a plain copy or a certified copy. Quoting from Maxwell's Interpretation of Statutes, the Supreme Court has observed-

'It is well settled that 'the words of a statute, when there is doubt about their meaning, are to beunderstood in the sense in which they best harmonise with the subject of the enactment and the object which the Legislature has in view. Their meaning is found not so much in a strictly grammatical or etymological propriety of language nor even in its popular use as in the subect or in the occasion on which they are used, and the object to be attamed'

One of the tests applied by the Supreme Court was whether the impugned judgment, order or proceeding was required by law to be reduced to the form of a document. If the answer was in the affirmative, then section 91 of the Indian Evidence Act provides, inter alia, that in all cases in which any matter is required by law to be reduced to the form of a document, no evidence shall begiven for the proof of the terms of such matter except the document itself or secondary evidence of its contents in cases in which secondary evidence is admissible under the provisions of that Act. Another test is whether the impugned judgment order or proceeding is a public document within the meaning of section 74 of the Indian Evidence Act. If it is so only a certified copy of such document and no other kind of secondary evidence is admissible under section 65 of the said Act. A third test is whether the Court is called upon to make interlocutory orders which may have serious consequences. The authenticity or correctness of the copy of a judgment or order is essential in order to enable the Court to make interlocutory orders. The orders made on these applications are all judicial acts and accordingly it is essential that the Court in order to take these judicial decisions should have proper material before it. thereforee, it is of utmost importance that the copy to be filed with the petition is a full and correct copy of the judgment or order appealed against. The Supreme Court in that case was no doubt considering the question whether the word 'copy' occurring in section 419 of the Code of Criminal Procedure meant a certified copy or a plain copy and in that context, the Supreme Court held that-

'THEfact that the appellate court is by law enjoined to peruse the copy of the judgment and take judicial decision on it indicates that it must have before it a correct copy of the judgment and this further indicates that the copy required to be filed with the petition of appeal under section 419 should be a certified copy which will ipso facto assure the appellate court of its correctness.'

But, in my view, the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court are of general application. In the exercise of its writ jurisdiction also, the Court is bound to satisfy itself regarding the correctness of the copy of the impugned judgment order or proceedings before it issued a rule nisi. It is no doubt true that before passing final orders in the writ petitions, the Court may call for the records of the court, tribunal or other authority. But as observed by the Supreme Court 'there is no doubt that the court can under section 421 of the Criminal Procedure Cods call for the record of the case, but the court is not bound to do so.'

(9) In the present petitions, as already stated, the validity of the judgment of the Additional District Judge in one case and the validity of the awards of the Industrial Tribunal in the other three cases is being challenged. There can be no doubt that the copy of the judgment of the Additional District Judge has necessarily to be a certified copy. The awards of the Industrial Tribunal are public documents within the meaning of section 74 of the Indian Evidence Act and a copy of such document has necessarily to be a certified copy. The copy ' of the impugned j judgment in C.M. (M) 148/71 filed by the petitioner as Annexure 'G' is in fact a certified copy and the office has in fact raised no objection on this account so far as this document is concerned. Annexure 'C' is also a certified copy. But Annexures 'A' 'B' and 'F' are not certified copies. The copies of the awards of the Industrial Tribunal filed in the other three petitions are also not certified copies and the objection of the office with regard to these documents is up held and all these documents have to be replaced by certified copies.

(10) , The next question for consideration is whether the documents filed by the petitioners along with the petitions by way of annexures required to be stamped under the Court fees Act. Section 4 of the Court-fees Act before its amendment by the Court-fees (Delhi Amendment) Act, 1967 stood as follows:-

'NOdocument of any of the kinds specked in the first or second schedule to this Act annexed, as chargeable with fees, shall be filed, exhibited or recorded in, or shall be received or furnished by, any of the said High Courts in any case coming before such court in the exercise of its extraordinary original civil jurisdiction; or in the exercise of its extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction; Or in the exercise of its jurisdiction as regards appeals from the judgments other than judgments passed in the exercise of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the Court of one or more Judges of the said Court or of a division Court; or in the exercise of its jurisdiction as regards appeals from the Courts subject to its superintendence or in the exercise of its jurisdiction as a Court of reference or revision; Unless in respect of such documents there be paid a fee of an amount not less than that indicated by either of the said schedules as the proper fee for such document.'

This section was amended by the Court-fees (Delhi Amendment) Act, 1967 and one of the amendments made was the addition of the following paragraph after the fifth paragraph in section 4:-

'in the exercise of jurisdiction to issue writ, etc,, or in the exercise of its jurisdiction to issue directions, orders or writs under the Constitution of India. '

The result of the amendment is that documents (referred to in the first or second schedule in the Court-fees Act cannot be filed, exhibited or recorded in or cannot be received by the High Court in the exercise of its writ jurisdiction unless they bear the requisite court-fees stamp. Under Article 7 of Schedule I of the Court fees Act, copy of a decree or order having the force of a decree when such decree or order is made by any civil Court other than a High Court, or by any Revenue Court, shall bear a court fee stamp of Rs. 2.65 naya paise. Under Article 9 of the same Schedule, ' copy of any revenue or judicial proceeding or order not otherwise provided for by this Act etc. etc. ' shall bear a court fee stamp of sixty-five naye paise for every three hundred aid sixty words or fraction of three hundred and sixty words.

(11) So far as C.M. (M) No. 148/71 is concerned, the copy of the judgment of the Additional District Judge which is filed as Annexure 'G', comes within the scope of Article 9 of Schedule I as being a judicial order and it has, thereforee, to be duly stamped under the Court fees Act, Annexures 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'F also fall within the same category as Annexure 'G' and have also to bear the requisite court fee stamp. The copy of the decree sheet filed along with the petition is covered by Article 7 as being the decree of a Civil Court other than a High Court and has also to bear the requisite court fee stamp. With regard to the copies of the awards of the Industrial Tribunal filed Along with C.M, Nos. 151, 152 and 156/71, it is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that the Industrial Tribunal is not a civil court or ajudicial tribunal but is only a quasijudicial tribunal as held by the Supreme Court in Bharat Bank v. Employees of Bharat Bank, and that, thereforee, the awards of the Industrial Tribunal do not come within the scope of Article 9. I cannot accept this contention. Although the Industrial Tribunal is a quasi-judicial tribunal, the order passed by the Tribunal is ajudicial order within the meaning of Article 9 of Schedule I of the Court-fees Act It cannot be called an administrative order. The copies of the awards of the Industrial Tribunal, thereforee, have also to bear the requisite court fee stamp

(12) None of the petitions can, thereforee, be admitted unless they are accompanied bycertified and duly stamped copies of the documents referred to above. The petitioners are given two months' time for filing the same.

(13) The necessity of framing the rules for the admission and disposal of petitions under Article 227 of the Constitution was pointed by I. D. Dua, J. (as he then was) in two cases, namely, (Faquir Chand Anand Raw v. Gopi Chand^ and Cantonment Board v. Messrs Lackhman Das Hari Ram. But so far no rules appear to have been framed. It is desirable that necessary rules be framed as early as possible,

(14) A copy of the judgment be placed before Hon'ble the Chief Justice.


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