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Saggar Gagu Dhula and anr. Vs. Sangar Abhram Vela and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1966)7GLR532
AppellantSaggar Gagu Dhula and anr.
RespondentSangar Abhram Vela and ors.
Cases ReferredState of Madhya Pradesh v. Bhopal Sugar Industries Ltd.
Excerpt:
- - by section 5 of the said act, it was provided that 'subject to any rules made under article 145 or any other law as to the time within which appeals to the supreme court are to be entered, an appeal shall lie to that court from a judgment, decree or final order of judicial commissioner's court under the provisions of article 132 or article 133 or from a judgment, final order or sentence of such court under the provisions of article 134 whether such judgment, decree, final order or sentence, as the case may be, was passed or made before or after the commencement of this act'.after stating that this was the jurisdiction of the judicial commissioner's court which it enjoyed after the passing of the constitution, this court referred to an event which took place on 1st november 1956 as.....n.m. miabhoy, j.1. this is a letters patent appeal from a decision of bhagwati j., recorded in second appeal no. 13 of 1964 by which the learned judge dismissed summarily that second appeal. the learned advocate for respondent no. 1 raises a preliminary point and that is that the letters patent appeal does not lie under the circumstances of this case. in order to decide this preliminary point, it is not necessary to state the facts relating to the merits of the case. it will be enough only to mention a few facts which have a bearing on the preliminary point. the letters patent appeal arises from out of civil suit no. 37 of 1961 which was instituted by plaintiffs nos. 1 and 2, respondents nos. 1 and 2 herein, in the court of the learned civil judge (junior division), mandvi, kutch. the.....
Judgment:

N.M. Miabhoy, J.

1. This is a Letters Patent Appeal from a decision of Bhagwati J., recorded in Second Appeal No. 13 of 1964 by which the learned Judge dismissed summarily that Second Appeal. The learned Advocate for respondent No. 1 raises a preliminary point and that is that the Letters Patent Appeal does not lie under the circumstances of this case. In order to decide this preliminary point, it is not necessary to state the facts relating to the merits of the case. It will be enough only to mention a few facts which have a bearing on the preliminary point. The Letters Patent Appeal arises from out of Civil Suit No. 37 of 1961 which was instituted by plaintiffs Nos. 1 and 2, respondents Nos. 1 and 2 herein, in the Court of the learned Civil Judge (Junior Division), Mandvi, Kutch. The learned Judge passed a preliminary decree for partition in that suit. Appellants, defendants. Nos. 1 and 2, preferred Civil Appeal No. 159 of 1962 in the Court of the learned District Judge, Kutch at Bhuj. The Appeal was dismissed. Appellants preferred a second appeal, bearing Second Appeal No. 13 of 1964, from that decision of the learned Assistant Judge and, as already mentioned, that appeal was summarily dismissed by Bhagwati J. Thereafter, appellants applied for leave from that learned Judge to prefer a Letters Patent Appeal. The leave was granted by the learned Judge on 9th March 1962. From the aforesaid facts, it is quite clear that the original suit from which this Second Appeal arises was instituted in the Kutch area. Now, the question as to whether a Latters Patent Appeal from the Kutch area does or does not lie has to be decided with reference to the decision of this Court reported in Rajkunverba, widow ofJadeja Pratapsinhji Khanji v. Randhirsinhji Kalyansinhji and Ors. V Gujarat Law Reporter 907. The legislative history governing the jurisdiction of this High Court in relation to a suit arising from the Kutch area was considered in that case with reference to the Kutch Province (Courts) Order, 1948, and the Judicial Commissioner's Courts (Declaration as High Courts) Act, 1950 (Act XV of 1950). As a result of a consideration of these two enactments, this Court came to the following conclusion in regard to the jurisdiction of the former Judicial Commissioner's Court:

The effect of these provisions was that the Judicial Commissioner's Court at Kutch retained all the jurisdiction and powers which it possessed before the coming into force of the Constitution. In addition to this, it got the powers of issuing writs under Article 226 and powers of superintendence over the subordinate Courts under Article 227 of the Constitution. A right of appeal was also conferred from the decisions of the Judicial Commissioners to the Supreme Court under Articles 132, 133 and 134 of the Constitution. In Section 4 of the Commissioner's Courts Act, it was provided that an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court under the provisions of Article 133 from any judgment, decree or final order of a Judicial Commissioner's Court notwithstanding that such judgment, decree or final order was that of a single Judge. By Section 5 of the said Act, it was provided that 'Subject to any rules made under Article 145 or any other law as to the time within which appeals to the Supreme Court are to be entered, an appeal shall lie to that Court from a judgment, decree or final order of Judicial Commissioner's Court under the provisions of Article 132 or Article 133 or from a judgment, final order or sentence of such Court under the provisions of Article 134 whether such judgment, decree, final order or sentence, as the case may be, was passed or made before or after the commencement of this Act'.

After stating that this was the jurisdiction of the Judicial Commissioner's Court which it enjoyed after the passing of the Constitution, this Court referred to an event which took place on 1st November 1956 as a result of which the Kutch territory became part of a new State known as the new Bombay State. With effect from 1st November 1956, the Kutch State ceased to be a 'C' State and the aforesaid merger took place under Section 8 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 (hereafter called 'the States Reorganisation Act'). By Section 50 of that Act, the Court of the Judicial Commissioner for Kutch, amongst others, came to be abolished and the High Court of Bombay under Section 49 became the High Court for the new State of Bombay. This Court pointed out in the aforesaid decision that the effect of the aforesaid provisions of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, was that the High Court for the new State of Bombay acquired jurisdiction over the Kutch area. The suit from which the Second Appeal arises was instituted sometime in March 1960. At that point of time, Kutch area was under the jurisdiction of the High Court of Bombay. But, after the formation of the Gujarat State under Section 3 of the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960, the Kutch area became a part of the Gujarat State and the present High Court of Gujarat was established for that State under Section 28 of that Act. Under Section 30 of the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960, it was enacted that the High Court of Gujarat shall have, in respect of any part of the territories included in the State of Gujarat, all such jurisdiction, powers and authority as, under the law in force immediately before the appointed day, are exercisable in respect of that part of the said territories by the High Court of Bombay. Therefore, under the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960, the jurisdiction which the High Court of Gujarat possesses is the same jurisdiction which the High Court of Bombay for the new State of Bombay had under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Now, what the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court was in regard to the Kutch area was considered in the above case with reference to Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. That question was first considered by this High Court in the case of Amritlal Gokaldas Mehta and others v. The State of Bombay and others, reported in V Gujarat Law Reporter 769. Basing its decision on Amritlal's case, this is the conclusion which this High Court reached in regard to the jurisdiction which the High Court of Gujarat possesses in regard to a case coming from the Kutch area:

For the reasons which we have given in the judgment just delivered in the Saurashtra group of appeals, we have come to the conclusion that the correct interpretation of Section 52 is that the law as obtaining in each of the areas which merged with the old Bombay State remained in tact and was preserved so far as the law relating to jurisdiction of the High Court of Bombay for the new State was concerned in its application to those areas. For the reasons given therein, we must hold that the law governing the jurisdiction of the High Court of Bombay and now the High Court of Gujarat in relation to the Kutch area is the same as the law prevailing in relation to the Commissioner's Court before the commencement of the Reorganisation Act of 1956. In view of the fact that there was no provision for any further appeal from the judgment of the Court of the Judicial Commissioner to that very Court but that only appeal lay to the Supreme Court in certain cases under the law prevailing before the Reorganisation Act of 1956 came into force, we must hold that no further appeal lies from the judgment of the learned Judge, delivered in First Appeal No. 8 of 1958 on 27th of August 1958.

Although the case of Rajkunverba was an appeal from a decision recorded in a first appeal and although the present appeal is an appeal from a second appeal, it is not disputed by the learned Counsel for the appellants that under the law as existing in Kutch relating to the jurisdiction of the Commissioner's Court, a second appeal did not lie. Therefore, Mr. Sheth, the learned Counsel for the appellants, does not dispute the proposition that, having regard to the aforsaid case, the present Letters Patent Appeal would be incompetent. But Mr. Sheth tries to get over this difficulty by contending that the provision contained in Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and, therefore, void. Mr. Sheth contends that, if that provision is void, then, in that case, under the provision contained in Section 49 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the High Court of Bombay then existing for the State of Bombay was to be deemed to be the High Court for the new State of Bombay and it would have the same jurisdiction over the Kutch area which that High Court possessed in regard to the Bombay area and the present Letters Patent Appeal would be competent. These are the submissions which Mr. Sheth makes for repelling the preliminary point raised by Mr. Mankad.

2. Therefore, the first question which arises for decision is whether the provision contained in Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, infringe the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution. In support of his argument, Mr. Sheth first drew our attention to the judgment of Fazl Ali, J. in The State of Bombay and another v. F.N. Sahara A.I.R. 1951 Supreme Court 318 at page 326, where the learned Judge summarizes the principles underlying Article 14 as laid down by Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Chiranjit Lai v. The Union of India 1950 S.C.R. 869. The learned Judge has therein set down seven propositions. Out of these, Mr. Sheth relied upon two propositions bearing Nos. 2 and 7 and contended that those two particular propositions had been violated by the Legislature in enacting Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Those two propositions have been put in the following words by Fazl Ali, J. after mentioning in the first proposition that the presumption is always in favour of the constitutionality of an enactment:

2. The presumption may be rebutted in certain cases by showing that on the face of the statute, there is no classification at all and no difference peculiar to any individual or class and not applicable to any other individual or class, and yet the law hits only a particular individual or class.. ... ... ... ...7. While reasonable classification is permissible, such classification must be based upon some real and substantial distinction bearing a reasonable and just relation to the object sought to be attained, and the classification cannot be made arbitrarily and without any substantial basis.

3. Now, the first point which requires to be mentioned before we discuss the aforesaid points raised by Mr. Sheth is that, as a result of the application of Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the laws relating to the jurisdiction of the High Court as prevailing in the State of Gujarat now would be different in certain respects. For that particular purpose, the State of Gujarat may be divided into three regions: the Kutch region, the Saurashtra region and the former Bombay State region. There is no dispute whatsoever that the law relating to the jurisdiction of this High Court in regard to these three regions is not uniform. Mr. Sheth mentioned to us that, under Section 8 of the Kutch Province (Courts) Order, 1948, the Judicial Commissioner's Court had only civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction and that it did not have any other kind of jurisdiction whatsoever. Therefore, according to the interpretation of Section 52, which has found favour with this Court in Rajkunverba's case, the High Court of Gujarat would have only civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction in regard to the Kutch area. Mr. Sheth pointed out to us that, on the other hand, the jurisdiction which this High Court would have in regard to the Bombay region would be far wider and more extensive. According to the same interpretation, this High Court would have not only civil and appellate jurisdiction in regard to civil and criminal cases arising in the Bombay region, but would have jurisdiction in regard to infants, lunatics, admiralty matters, testate and intestate matters and matrimonial jurisdiction. We do not propose to decide in the present case about the merits of this contention of Mr. Sheth. We will assume that there is this particular difference between the jurisdictions of this High Court in regard to the Bombay and Kutch areas. But there is no doubt that, according to the interpretation of Section 52 in Rajkunverba's case, there is a vital difference between the jurisdiction of this Court in regard to the Bombay area, the Saurashtra area and the Kutch area in regard to the right of a litigant to prefer a Letters Patent Appeal. A litigant from the Bombay area has that right; but a litigant from the Saurashtra area does not possess that right. Though this is so, a Saurashtra litigant has got a right to prefer a further appeal from a decision of a single Judge of this High Court in a Second Appeal under Section 22A of the Saurashtra High Court of Judicature Ordinance of 1948 and, as already pointed out, a litigant from the Kutch area has not such a right at all. Therefore, there is no doubt whatsoever that in regard to the right to prefer a further appeal from a decision of a single Judge of this High Court recorded in a Second Appeal, the litigants in the Kutch area have a differentia] treatment from the litigants in the Saurashtra and the Bombay areas. Having regard to this differential treatment, the question arises for consideration as to whether Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

4. Mr. Mankad repels the aforesaid argument by contending that there is no differential treatment of persons in the aforesaid areas at all. Mr. Mankad contends that the disability which is imposed in Kutch area is not imposed only on the residents of that particular area, but that that disability is imposed on all persons, whether residing in Kutch area or not, who happen to start a litigation in that area, and, therefore, he contends that all persons residing anywhere in India are similarly treated so far as the Kutch area is concerned and hence there is no discrimination whatsoever. This argument has no merit. It is true that all litigants in the Kutch area have been similarly treated. But the gravamen of Mr. Sheth is that all the litigants in the State of Gujarat, though similarly situated, have been dissimilarly treated, and it is this dissimilar treatment which would attract, if it does at all the provisions contained in Article 14. For example, in the State of Gujarat, if there is a cause of action arising in the Bombay area or the Saurashtra area and if the same cause of action arises in the Kutch area, then, it is quite clear that, in respect of the same subject-matter and the same cause of action, whereas a litigant in the Bombay and the Saurashtra areas will have a right of a further appeal from a judgment in a Second Appeal, a litigant in the Kutch area will not have such a right of appeal. That being so, it cannot be denied that the litigants in the Kutch area are being accorded a differential treatment in regard to the right of a further appeal from a judgment delivered by a single Judge in a Second Appeal from the treatment which is accorded to similar litigants in the Bombay and the Saurashtra areas. Under the circumstances, the question in hand must be decided on the basis that a differential treatment is being accorded in the aforesaid respect to the litigants in the two sets of areas.

5. It is well known that, though Article 14 prohibits class legislation, it does not prohibit a classification of persons, objects or transactions. If there is a classification on the aforesaid basis, it is also well established now that, in order to escape the bar of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, the classification - must be reasonable. It is also well established that there must be an intelligible differentia, distinguishing the members of one group or class from the members of the excluded group or class, and it is also equally well established that, in order that the provisions of Article 14 may be avoided, there must be a reasonable relationship existing between the classification and the object which is sought to be achieved by the impugned piece of legislation. Now, in our judgment, all the tests which have been laid down by the authorities have been satisfied in the present case. First of all, there is no doubt whatsoever that there has been a classification of litigants area wise. The classification seems to have been based on historical reasons and on account of the development of the law in each region at the time when the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, was passed. There is no doubt whatsoever that, before 'the appointed day', that is, 1st of November 1956, the day on which the States Reorganisation Act came into operation, all the aforesaid three areas had their own distinctive laws in regard to the jurisdictions of the highest Tribunal existing in those regions. Having regard to this fact, it cannot be denied that the Legislature would be justified in classifying the litigant in each area on account of the fact that the law relating to the jurisdiction of the highest Tribunal in each region was different. The States Reorganisation Act, 1956, was primarily enacted with a view to bring areas having different administrations into one homogeneous unit. The primary object was to bring them together under one common unit of administration. The considerations which weighed with the Legislature in so bringing the areas together were linguistic, financial, economic and administrative. The provisions of the Act show that the Legislature did not intend to set up uniform laws for all the different areas which were to be so brought together. Section 119 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, clearly shows that the existing laws were intended to be preserved in all the different areas, although power was reserved to the Legislature of the new State to make provision for such uniformity of laws in future. Whereas Section 119 embodies the will of the Legislatute in regard to the laws in general, having a territorial application, Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, expresses the will of the Legislature in regard to the specific law relating to the jurisdiction of the High Courts and, therefore, not only that the primary intention of the Legislature in enacting the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, was to bring into existence a homogeneous administrative unit, but its intention was also to preserve the laws existing in different areas in tact so that there may not be violent break from the existing laws in each region. It is quite obvious that, though it may be desirable that there should be uniform laws in one and the same State, the task of bringing such uniformity cannot have been lightly undertaken unless the full repercussions of any change in any particular area on any topic of law were fully and properly considered by the Legislature, The latter task would be a stupendous task and it is quite obvious that, unless and until each branch of law is properly considered in regard to each particular area and the effect which each change in law will bring about is properly considered, the Legislature may not like to undertake that task immediately. Under the circumstances, it appears that the Legislature has wisely not attempted to bring about uniformity of laws in the different areas brought together under one administrative unit, simultaneously with the reorganisation of the States themselves In our judgment, the aforesaid reasons are weighty enough to make the classification of litigants in regard to the branch of law in hand into different classes regionwise. That means that the Legislature bad weightly reasons for making the classification. That makes the classification a reasonable one-classification, dividing the litigants of the new State into three groups according as the litigant litigates in one or the other region.

6. Mr. Sheth, however, contends that there is no reasonable relationship between the object which the Legislature has in view in enacting Part V of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, and the above classification. The broad submission of Mr. Sheth is that the main object of the Legislature in enacting Part V was to have a uniform administration of justice in the new State and he contends that the several sections in that Part are designed for a uniform administration of justice. For this purpose, Mr. Sheth argues that Section 49 was the key section and that that section not only established a High Court for the new State of Bombay, but it also confined all the necessary jurisdiction which the High Court was to exercise in respect of the whole of the new State of Bombay. In our judgment, the submission of Mr. Sheth is not correct. Even assuming for the purpose of argument that Section 49 not merely establishes a High Court but is capable of being construed as conferring a jurisdiction upon the High Court of Bombay in regard to all the new areas which were merged in the new State of Bombay, in our judgment, having regard to the enactment of Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, it is impossible to uphold the aforesaid argument of Mr. Sheth. Section 52, in terms, provides for the jurisdictions which the new High Court is to enjoy in regard to the various areas and it makes a specific provision to the effect that the jurisdictions which the High Court will enjoy in regard to the different areas will be the same jurisdiction which the corresponding highest Tribunal in each area enjoyed before 'the appointed day'. If we read Sections 49 to 69 together, we find that those sections do not deal with the wider topic of the administration of justice but deal only with the subject of the establishment of High Courts, the jurisdictions which they shall enjoy, the procedure which they shall follow, and the transfer of cases from one High Court or the highest Tribunal in any particular region to the new High Courts, established or created by the Act. The provisions in regard to the latter topics further reveal that the main object of Part V is not so much to bring about uniformity of laws in regard to jurisdictions of the High Courts, but is to see that the laws in the different regions, merged together, are all administered by one High Court. The argument of Mr. Sheth also suffers from another fallacy. For the purpose of deciding whether a piece of legislation violates the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 14 of the Constitution, it is not proper only to restrict one's attention to the object as mentioned in a part of an impugned statute; but the proper thing would be to have regard to the object of the statute as a whole. We have already pointed out as to what the object of that statute is. The object, as already mentioned by us, is to see that the various areas in the Union are brought together under one homogeneous administrative unit. We have also pointed out that there are indications in the Act itself to show that the Legislature did not wish to undertake a revision of laws prevailing in each region and to bring about uniformity of laws for the administrative unit. In fact, it appears that the Legislature intended to preserve, whilst bringing about homogeneity in administration, the distinctive legal characteristics in each particular region. In our judgment, therefore, it is not correct to say that there was no reasonable relationship existing between the object of the statute and the classification of litigants in the three areas forming the new Bombay State.

7. For the above reasons, we must also reject the argument of Mr. Sheth that the classification is not based on any substantial and real distinction.

8. We have discussed the specific arguments which were urged by Mr. Sheth in support of his submission, based on the two propositions extracted from the judgment of Fazl Ali J., in Sahara's case. We have done so in deference to elaborate arguments which he advanced on this particular topic. However, in our judgment, the matter in hand is concluded by a judgment of the Supreme Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Bhopal Sugar Industries Ltd. : [1964]52ITR443(SC) in which Their Lordships considered the vires of Bhopal State Agricultural Income-tax Act (9 of 1953) which subjected persons carrying on agricultural operations in the Bhopal region to pay a tax on agricultural income which was not imposed upon agricultural income earned in the rest of the State of Madhya Pradesh. That Act was in existence at the time when the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, was enacted and the Act was preserved in tact by virtue of the provision contained in Section 119 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Their Lordships found that the Bhopal Act gave a differential treatment to the persons carrying on agricultural operations in the Bhopal region from the treatment accorded to similarly situated persons carrying on agricultural operations in the rest of the State of Madhya Pradesh. Their Lordships held that, though this was so, that in itself was not a ground for declaring the Bhopal Act ultra vires. Their Lordships made the following observations in that regard which, in our judgment, with respect, are applicable to the facts of the present case:

All persons who are similarly circumstanced as regards a subject-matter are entitled to equal protection of the laws, but it is not predicated thereby that every law must have universal application irrespective of dissimilarity of objects or transactions to which it applies, or of the nature or attainments of the persons to whom it relates. The Legislature has always the power to make special laws to attain particular objects and for that purpose has authority to select or classify persons, objects or transactions upon which the law is intended to operate.

Therefore, the mere fact that there is a differential treatment to litigants in the two sets of areas in regard to the right of further appeal is not itself a good ground for holding that the provision contained in Section 52 is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. In another part of the judgment, Their Lordships also pointed out the validity of a geographical classification founded for historical reasons and stated that, where application of unequal laws is reasonably justified for historical reasons, a geographical classification founded on them would be upheld. In the same case, Their Lordships also pointed out the main object for the enactment of the States Reorganisation Act and also pointed out that the Legislature probably did not undertake the task of bringing about the uniformity of taws in the different areas merged together on grounds of necessity and expediency. At page 1181, Their Lordships stated as follows:

These units Were continued under the Constitution merely because they formerly existed. Later an attempt was made under the States Reorganisation Act to rationalize the pattern of administration by reducing the four classes of units into two-States, and Union territories and by making a majority of the States homogeneous linguistic units. But in the States so reorganized were incorporated regions governed by distinct laws, and by the mere process of bringing into existence reorganized administrative units, uniformity of laws could not immediately be secured. Administrative reorganisation evidently could not await adaptation of laws, so as to make them uniform, and immediate abolition of laws which gave distinctive character to the regions brought into the new units was politically inexpedient even if theoretically possible. An attempt to secure uniformity of laws before reorganisation of the units would also have considerably retarded the process of reorganisation.

Therefore, though the case before Their Lordships of the Supreme Court arose under Section 119 of the States Reorganisation Act, the ratio of that particular case as embodied in the passages which we have quoted is applicable to the facts of the present case.

9. Mr. Sheth, however, alternatively argues that, even if we hold on the basis of the aforesaid Supreme Court case that Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, is not violative of Article 14, the continuance of the differential treatment is so violative on the basis of the same authority. IB that case, Their Lordships, after holding that the Bhopal Act was not ultra vires Article 14 of the constitution, further held as follows:

Differential treatment arising out Of the application of the laws so continued in different regions of the same reorganised State, did not therefore immediately attract the clause of the Constitution prohibiting discrimination. But by, the passage of time, considerations of necessity and expediency would be obliterated, arid the grounds which justified classification of geographical regions for historical reasons may cease to be valid. A purely temporary provision which because of compelling forces justified differential treatment when the Reorganisation Act was enacted cannot obviously be permitted to assume permanency, so as to perpetuate that treatment without a rational basis to support it after the initial expediency and necessity have disappeared.

In order to correctly appreciate the aforesaid observations, it is necessary to understand the context in which those observations were made by Their Lordships. It appears that, after the reorganisation had taken place, the Governor of the State of Madhya Pradesh had issued the Madhya Pradesh Adaptation of Laws (State and Concurrent Subjects) Order, 1956, so as to make laws applicable uniformly to the State, and, later, the Legislature by the Madhya Pradesh Extension of Laws Act, 1928, mads other alterations in the laws applicable to the State. It appears that, in spite of the aforesaid Acts, Bhopal Act 9 of 1953 remained unamended. It was for this reason that Their Lordships remanded the case for the purpose of ascertaining as to what the impact of the aforesaid pieces of legislation would be on the question of differential treatment accorded by the Bhopal Act 9 of 1953 and to ascertain the impact which that enactment had on the subject of levies made upon agricultural income in the rest of the State of Madhya Pradesh. Therefore, from the aforesaid observations, it cannot reasonably be concluded that, though a piece of legislation is intra vires at the date of its enactment, it automatically becomes ultra vires by lapse of time. In fact, Their Lordships at page 1183 state in terms that this is not so. Their Lordships point out that it cannot be said that, because a certain number of years have elapsed, the State has acted improperly in continuing an impost which operates upon a class of citizens more harshly than upon others. The States Reorganisation Act, 1956, came into operation on 1st November 1956. The present suit was instituted in March 1960. The rights of the present appellants have got to be ascertained with reference to the state of the law prevailing on the date on which the suit was instituted. Therefore, there was an interval of less than four years between the date Section 52 came into operation and the date on which the suit was instituted. In our judgment, it is impossible to say that the continuance of the differential treatment accorded to the litigants in Kutch area became discriminatory by lapse of this period of time. Mr. Sheth, however, contends that the State of Bombay had undertaken a revision of some laws and that that would bring the continuance of the impugned piece of legislation within the mischief of Article 14 of the Constitution. Mr. Sheth refers to the fact that, in 1958, the Bombay Civil Courts Extension and Amendment Act, 1958, was passed by which the law relating to the jurisdiction of the subordinate Courts in kutch among other States, was brought on a par with the law on the same subject prevailing in the Bombay area. Mr. Sheth contends that, having regard to this piece of legislation the continuance will be violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. However, in our judgment, the mere fact that revision of law has been undertaken on a subject which doss not pertain to the subject in regard to the law of which the Article is alleged to have been infringed cannot make the latter law unconstitutional. Their Lordships, in this regard, at page 1183 point out that it cannot be said that, because the State has made other laws uniform, therefore, the impugned law must also be regarded to fall within the mischief of Article 14. Such a question may arise for consideration where the Legislature undertakes unification, revision or adaptation of law on the same subject in regard to which the legislation is impugned. The law relating to the jurisdiction of the subordinate Courts is entirely different from the law relating to the jurisdiction of a High Court. The two subjects, though relating to the common subject of jurisdiction, are different as regards the Tribunal in regard to which those laws operate. In our judgment, it cannot be stated that, because the Legislature undertook the revision of law relating to the jurisdiction of the subordinate Courts, the Legislature did this at the peril of the law relating to the jurisdiction of the High Court. That is entirely a different subject and different considerations are bound to come into play when considering the question as to whether the law relating to the jurisdiction of the High Court should be uniform in regard to all the three areas. As we have already pointed out, the question of unifying or revising laws and appreciating the impact of changes of laws is a subject which teems with a number of difficulties and the State Legislature must have sufficient time to study, understand and appreciate the difficulties in regard to each branch of legislation. The process of unification, revision or adaptation of laws is bound to be a slow one and cannot be undertaken unless all the aspects are properly and anxiously considered. Therefore, the State Legislature not having undertaken the task of revising, adapting or unifying the laws relating to the jurisdiction of the High Court, it cannot be stated that any part of the legislation relating to the jurisdiction of the High Court has become violative of Article 14. Except pointing out that the aforesaid amending Act had been passed, Mr. Sheth did not draw our attention to any other factor which would throw any light on the question whether the continuance of law has or has not the effect of violating the fundamental right contained in Article 14 of the Constitution. In the absence of any such factor, it is impossible to agree with the submission of Mr. Sheth that the continuance of the impugned law is so violative.

10. In view of our aforesaid conclusion, it is not necessary for us to decide a point of some importance which was raised by Mr. Mankad on the basis that the provision aforesaid was violative of Article 14. We will only indicate the contention which Mr. Mankad raised. Mr. Mankad contends that, even if Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, is struck down on the aforesaid ground, the effect thereof will be not that the present appellants would have a right of Letters Patent Appeal. But, in his submission, the effect will be that the litigants in the Bombay area would lose the right of the Letters Patent Appeal or a right to a further appeal from the judgment of a single Judge recorded in a Second Appeal. He submits that, in the aforesaid contingency, the law which will be discriminatory will be the law which gives a right of a further appeal and it will be that right which will have to be struck down and not the continuance of the law on the aforesaid subject in the Kutch area. Mr. Mankad also further submits that the effect of holding Section 52 to be violative of Article 14 cannot be to confer jurisdiction upon this Court to hear further appeals from the Kutch area in the aforesaid circumstances. He submits that that will be tantamount to legislating on the subject. There is considerable force in the argument of Mr. Mankad. However, on account of the view that we take that Section 52 is not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, it is not necessary for us to undertake a decision on the aforesaid subject.

10.1 For the aforesaid reasons, we have come to the conclusion that Section 52 of the States Reorganisation Act not being violative of Article 14, the Letters Patent Appeal is not competent in view of the decision of this Court recorded in Rajkunverba's case (supra) and, therefore, the appeal is dismissed on the ground that no appeal lies. In view of the circumstances of this case, there will be no order as to costs. Interim stay is vacated.


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