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Dhanalakshmi Vilas Cashew Co. and ors. Vs. President, Cashew Industries Staff Association and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.M.P. Nos. 3314 of 1958 and 5767 and 5919 of 1960
Judge
Reported inAIR1962Ker1
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 133(1) and 226
AppellantDhanalakshmi Vilas Cashew Co. and ors.
RespondentPresident, Cashew Industries Staff Association and ors.
Appellant Advocate V.K.K. Menon, Adv. in C.M.P. No. 3314/58,; G.B. Pai,; P.
Respondent Advocate Govt. Pleader for Respondents 4 and 5 in C.M.P. 3314/58,; P. Balagangadhara Menon, Adv.-General (K.K.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredOfficer v. Joti Prasad Agarwal
Excerpt:
.....to supreme court namely civil, criminal and other proceedings - judgment must be judgment in civil proceeding or order sought to be appealed against must be final order in civil proceeding - right to property or any other civil right involved in proceeding then proceeding is civil proceeding - in case against a decision in matter which comes to high court within its original jurisdiction by internal arrangement appeal is provided to larger bench of same high court then article 133 (1) (a) applicable - petitions for leave to appeal to supreme court under article133 (1) (a) and sections109 and 110 allowed. - - 3314 of 1958 the subject-matter in dispute in the writ petition as well as in the proposed appeal is a civil right of the petitioners as to whether they are liable to pay..........that the judgments or orders sought to be appealed against are not judgments or final orders in civil proceedings of the high court. in the last case, besides the above objection, another objection is also raised, namely, that article 133(1)(a) cannot apply to the case as the court of first instance contemplated therein is a court subordinate to the high court and not a bench constituted by a single judge of the high court itself. now we would examine these conditions. 3. the first contention that is common to these cases is that the orders dismissing the writ petitions under article 226 of the constitution are not judgments or final orders in civil proceedings. the first question arising for consideration in this context is whether the orders of dismissal are judgments or final.....
Judgment:

Raghavan, J.

1. These are applications for certificates under Article 133 of the Constitution, for leave to appeal to the Supreme' Court. C. M. P. No. 3314 of 1958 is in O.P. No. 8 of 1958, which was to quash the award of an Industrial Tribunal under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and the writ was dismissed by this Court; C. M. P. No. 5767 of 1960 is in O.P. No. 97 of 1958, which was for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash certain notices issued by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Trivandrum requiring the petitionersto make contributions to the Employees' Provident Fund. The said O. P. was also dismissed by a Full Bench of this Court.

The last of the petitions, namely, G. M. P. No. 5919 of 1960, is for a certificate for leave to appeal against the judgment in A. S. No. 111 of 1959, the appeal itself being against O. P. No. 489 of 1957, which was to quash a portion o the award of an Industrial Tribunal. In this last case a learned Judge of this Court dismissed the writ petition but in appeal a Division Bench reversed the order of the Single Judge and allowed the appeal thereby quashing the award of the Tribunal. The petition is for leave to appeal against that judgment in appeal.

2. In all these three cases it is not disputed that the amount or value of the subject-matter of the dispute was and is still not less than Rs. 20,000/-. In the first two cases the objection is raised to granting the certificates on the ground that the judgments or orders sought to be appealed against are not judgments or final orders in civil proceedings of the High Court. In the last case, besides the above objection, another objection is also raised, namely, that Article 133(1)(a) cannot apply to the case as the Court of first instance contemplated therein is a Court subordinate to the High Court and not a Bench constituted by a single Judge of the High Court itself. Now we would examine these conditions.

3. The first contention that is common to these cases is that the orders dismissing the writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution are not judgments or final orders in civil proceedings. The first question arising for consideration in this context is whether the orders of dismissal are judgments or final orders. The next question is whether the proceedings in these cases under Article 226 of the Constitution are civil proceedings.

4. The Constitution contemplates three categories of proceedings for purposes of appeal to the Supreme Court, namely, civil, criminal or other proceedings. This is evident from Article 132 of the Constitution. In this connection the learned counsel of the respondents invite our attention to a Full Bench decision of the Patna High Court in Collector of Monghyr v. Maharaja Pratap Singh Bahadur, (S) AIR 1957 Pat 102.

Ramaswami C. J. delivering the judgment of the Full Bench, observed that the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 is an extraordinary jurisdiction vested in it not for the purpose of declaring the civil rights of the parties, but for the purpose of ensuring that the law of the land is implicitly obeyed and that the various tribunals and public authorities are kept within the limits of their jurisdictions. The learned Chief Justice further observes that the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 is a supervisory jurisdiction and a proceeding under the said Article is not concerned with the determination of the civil rights of the parties.

In Shriram Hanumanbux v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (S) AIR 1955 Nag 257, the same view, namely, that the extraordinary jurisdiction vested in the High Court under Article 226 is not meant to declare any rights but only to ensure that the law of the land was being properly administered and the refusal to issue the writ has only the effect of saying that the High Court does not see any irregularity in the administration of the relevant law, has been expressed.

It has also been laid down in this case that such a decision is not covered either by the word ''judgment' or the phrase 'final order' in Article 133(1). The reasoning in the aforesaid two cases and others on similar lines expresses the view (1) that the dismissal of a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution is neither a judgment nor a final order and (2) that a proceeding under Article 226 is not a civil proceeding.

5. There are other decisions taking a different view on this question. In Kapur Singh v. Union of India, (S) AIR 1957 Punj 173, a Full Bench of the Punjab High Court has held that 'judgment, decree or final order' in Article 133(1) of the Constitution are textually the same as those used in Section 205 of the Government of India Act of 1935 and in order that a decision should fall within the definition of the word 'judgment' or the phrase 'final order', {i) it must finally decide the rights of the parties and the word 'judgment' means a final judgment, as contrasted with an interlocutory judgment, by which right to the relief claimed is decided with regard to all matters in issue and (ii) an order is final if it finally disposes of tile rights of the parties.

The Full Bench has further held that in every case the Court has to see whether the rights of the parties are finally determined by the decision and the mere fact that the Court has refused to issue a writ or direction under Article 226 does not take it out of the definition of the words 'judgment, decree or final order' but it will depend upon the facts, circumstances and the nature of the decision in each case. In Dhanalakshmi Ammal v. Income-tax Officer, AIR 1958 Mad 151, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court has expressed the view that there is no reason why a proceeding under Article 226 of the Constitution for the enforcement of a right to property cannot be deemed to be a civil proceeding, though it may be that every application under Article 226 may not be deemed to be a civil proceeding.

Rajamannar, C. J., gives as illustration an application for a writ of a habeas corpus or a writ of prohibition to prevent prosecution of criminal proceedings not being a civil preceding. This decision has expressly dissented from the Full Bench decision of the Patna High Court in (S) AIR 1957 Pat 102, and has further held that the test for determining the finality of an order is whether the Order has finally disposed of the rights of the parties.

Again in Kehar Singh Nihal Singh v. Custodian General, AIR 1959 Punj 58, the Punjab High Court has laid down that for determining whether the proceedings are of a civil or criminal nature or fall in any special category, it is the subject matter of the proceedings which should be seen, rather than the particular jurisdiction of the forum; under which the petitioner has invoked his rights. The decision has also held that a proceeding which is undoubtedly of a civil nature does not cease to be so because the petitioner has invoked the extraordinary jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 and that It is not the manner in which the interference of the High Court is sought, but the nature of the claim canvassed, which should determine the civil character or otherwise of the proceedings.

It has also, been laid down in this case that a proceeding taken for the enforcement of a civil right is a civil proceeding, even if the jurisdiction of the Court which has been invoked happens to be special or extraordinary. The decision further lays down that a civil proceeding relates to private rights and remedies given to individuals or corporations as members of the community in contradistinction to those which are public and relate to Government. This decision is also authority for the proposition that the expression 'judgment, decree or final order' is a compendious expression and it connotes adjudication by the Court upon the rights of the parties appearing before it on the merits of the dispute and does not include an interlocutory judgment. Finally in Income-tax Officer v. Joti Prasad Agarwal, AIR 1960 All 84 the Allahabad High Court has expressed the view that a proceeding under Article 226 is a civil proceeding within the meaning of Article 133 if it relates to civil rights.

6. We do not propose to add to these citationsby referring to other decisions of other High Courts, where also this question has come up for consideration. According to us the position appears to be this under the Constitution; Three categories of proceedings are contemplated for purposes of appeal to the Supreme Court, namely, civil criminal and other proceedings. These three categories, among themselves, cover all proceedings that might come before a High Court. Under Article 133(1) the judgment must be a judgment in a civil proceeding or the order sought to be appealed against must be a final order in a civil proceeding.

The judgment or final order that is contemplated is the judgment or final order, that finally disposes of the dispute between the parties so far as the High Court is concerned, as contrasted with an interlocutory judgment or order. The civil proceeding that is contemplated by the Article is a proceeding in which some rights to property or other civil rights are involved. It is of no consequence whether such a proceeding is taken in a suit or by way of a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution. If, as we have already observed, a right to property or any other civil right is involved in the proceeding, then the proceeding is a civil proceeding, no matter the jurisdiction of the Court invoked is special or extraordinary. It also does not matter whether the proceeding under Article 226 has ended in dismissal.

7. If this is borne in mind, we do not think there is any difficulty in the present cases before us, In C. M. P. No. 3314 of 1958 the subject-matter in dispute in the writ petition as well as in the proposed appeal is a civil right of the petitioners as to whether they are liable to pay more by way of salary, bonus and other remunerations. Similarly in C. M. P. 5767 of 1960 the dispute is regarding the liability of the petitioners to contribute towards the Employees' Provident Fund, which also involves a civil right. Equally so in C. M. P.No. 5919 of 1960 the petitioners' civil rights are Involved.

8. In the last of the aforesaid cases there is the further contention raised namely, whether the case comes within Article 133(1)(a). As we have already indicated at the commencement of this judgment, the objection is that the Court of first instance mentioned in Article 133(1)(a) is a Court subordinate to the High Court and not a Court constituted by one Judge of the High Court itself. We do not think that it would have been in the contemplation of the makers of the Constitution to exclude such cases from appeal to the Supreme Court. We are not inclined to give a restricted meaning to the expression 'Court of first instance' to mean only a Court subordinate to the High Court.

If against a decision in a matter which comes to the High Court within its original jurisdiction, by internal arrangement an appeal is Provided to a fuller or larger Bench of the same High Court, we are of the view that to such a case Article 133(1)(a) will apply for it is quite possible for the High Court to be the Court of first instance as well as the Court of appeal in the same matter. Such internal arrangements for appeal in the High Courts under the Letters Patent or otherwise were well-known to the framers of the Constitution and it cannot be said that they intended to exclude such cases from the scope of Article 133.

9. In the above view, we grant certificates under Article 133(1)(a) that the amount or value involved in each of these cases is not less than Rs. 20,000/- and as such under the said Article and under Sections 109 and 110 of the Code of Civil Procedure we allow the petitions for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. We order no costs.


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