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C. Chenchanna Naidu Vs. Praja Seva Transports Ltd., Cuddappah and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Petn. Nos. 1097 and 1098 of 1951
Judge
Reported inAIR1953Mad39; (1952)1MLJ448
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 47, Rule 1; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantC. Chenchanna Naidu
RespondentPraja Seva Transports Ltd., Cuddappah and anr.
Appellant AdvocateK. Rajah Aiyar and ;A. Bhujanga Rao, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateVepa P. Sarathi, Adv.;C.A. Vaidhialingam and ;C. Kondiah, Advs.
Cases ReferredChhajjuram v. Neki
Excerpt:
.....an error apparent on the face of the record within the meaning of order xlvii, rule 1 of the code of civil procedure so as to warrant a review of that order.; in re prhlad krishna a.i.r. 1951 bom. 25 (f.b.); case law considered. - -..........on the civil side, in dealing with such an application we are governed by the provisions of the civil procedure code. it is indisputable that the procedure applicable to all courts of civil judicature is that contained in the civil procedure code. in -- 'ryots of garabandho and etc. villages v. zamindar of parlakimedi', i. l. r. (1933) mad 806, the view taken by a bench of this court consisting of sir lionel leach c. j. and madhavan nair j. was that an order refusing the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the orders of the board of revenue was one passed in the exercise of its original civil jurisdiction within the meaning of section 109(b) civil procedure code and was subject to the right of appeal to the privy council from the same. once it is conceded that the procedure.....
Judgment:
1. This is a petition for review of our order in C. M. P. No. 605 of 1951 dated 9th January 1951 declining to issue a writ of certiorari calling for records in G. O. Ms. 5424 M. Home department, Government of Madras, dated 27th December 1950 and to quash the said Government Order. The circumstances that necessitated the filing of that petition are the following:

2. The petitioner along with the first respondent herein and some others applied to the Regional Transport Authority, Cuddapah for pucca permits for running three stage carriages on Cuddappah Madanapalle route via Kurubola Kota. The Regional Transport Authority rejected the application of the petitioner while that of first respondent was allowed.

3. Against this order an appeal was filed to the Central Road Traffic Board, Madras, by the petitioner. The Appellate Tribunal cancelled the permit granted to the first respondent and directed the issue of one to the petitioner herein.

4. Thereupon the first respondent preferred a revision to the Government of Madras against the order of the Central Road Traffic Board. The Government in its G. O. Ms. 5424 M. Home department referred to above allowed the revision petition filed by the first respondent and set aside the order of the Central Road Traffic Board in so far as it related to the granting of a permit to the petitioner.

5. This led the petitioner to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in the manner and for the relief mentioned above. The main ground upon Which that petition was based was that the order of the Government disclosed no reason for interfering with that of the Appellate authority and therefore was one passed arbitrarily.

6. When this petition came before us on 9th January we rejected it observing that we saw no reason to hold that the State Government has exercised jurisdiction vested in it under Section 64-A of the Madras Motor Vehicles Act illegally or with material irregularity and that there were no grounds for interference.

6a. A day or two after the disposal of that petition the jurisdiction of the State Government to exercise its revisional powers under Section 64-A. of the Motor Vehicles Act without finding whether the order sought to be revised was illegal, irregular or improper as required by the provisions of the section was questioned in another application for the issue of writ of certiorari to quash the order of the State Government in similar circumstances filed by an aggrieved party, we issued notice on that petition which ultimately resulted in pronouncement inter alia that the order, ex-facie should show that the Government applied its mind to a consideration of the question whether the order under revision was one under one or the other of the three categories mentioned in Section 64-A.

7. As a result of the issue of notice in that application the petitioner has come forward with C. M. P. No. 1098 of 1951 for a review of our order dated 9th January 1951.

8. The first point that arises for consideration in this petition is whether we have jurisdiction to review the order in G. M. P. No. 605 of 1951 and whether this petition is competent.

9. This petition is resisted on behalf of the first respondent that we have no inherent powers to review the order passed upon Article 226 of the Constitution. In support of this contention Mr. Vaidnialingam, the learned counsel for the first respondent relied on a ruling of a Full Bench of the Bombay High Court in--'In re Prahlad Krishna' . But we do not think that that case carries the

contention of the respondents very far. What was observed by the Chief Justice Chagla with whom the other two learned Judges agreed was that the Court has no inherent power of review and that the power of review like that of an appeal should be conferred by a statute and that the Criminal Procedure Code did not vest any powers of review in the High Court. It was also remarked that Article 226 of the Constitution did not confer upon the High Court a power of review. It must be remembered that in that case the first application that was rejected by the Division Bench of that Court was under Section 491 Criminal Procedure Code. The applications were filed subsequently one for a review of that order and the order for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under Article 226 of the Constitution. Both the applications were rejected when they were ultimately heard by the Pull Bench.

10. It is while dealing with these applications that the statement of law referred to above was made by the learned Judges.

11. Here we have to deal with a case not under the Criminal Procedure Code. The petitioner invoked the civil jurisdiction of this court to issue a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution. If the application for the issue of a writ, is made on the civil side, in dealing with such an application we are governed by the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code. It is indisputable that the procedure applicable to all courts of civil judicature is that contained in the Civil Procedure Code. IN -- 'Ryots of Garabandho and etc. Villages v. Zamindar of Parlakimedi', I. L. R. (1933) Mad 806, the view taken by a Bench of this court consisting of Sir Lionel Leach C. J. and Madhavan Nair J. was that an order refusing the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the orders of the Board of Revenue was one passed in the exercise of its original civil jurisdiction within the meaning of Section 109(b) Civil Procedure Code and was subject to the right of appeal to the Privy Council from the same. Once it is conceded that the procedure applicable to eases of this kind is that enacted in the Civil Procedure Code, the question of jurisdiction of this court to review its orders under Article 226 does not present much difficulty. Order 47, Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code has Invested civil courts with power to review their own decrees or orders under certain conditions, namely, discovery of new and important matter, or evidence which after the exercise of due diligence, was not within his knowledge or could not be produced by him seeking review at the time when the decree was passed or order made, or on account of some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record or for any other sufficient reason. The first two conditions are not relevant for the purpose of the present enquiry. Here we are only concerned with the latter conditions.

12. The question for consideration in this case is whether the grounds alleged are sufficient to bring them within the expressions "error apparent on the face of the record, or for any other sufficient reason".

13. In support of his contention that the present case falls under the category of error apparent on the face of the record or for any other sufficient reason within the meaning of Order 47, Rule 1 C. P. C., Mr. Rajah Aiyar, the learned counsel for the petitioner placed before us some decided cases of this court and other courts.

14. In -- Brindhaban Chandra v. Damodar Prasad', 29 Cal. W. N. 148, a Bench of the Calcutta court allowed an appeal relying on a decision of the Judicial Committee. An application for review of a Judgment was presented by the aggrieved party within time allowed by the statute an before it could be disposed of there was a pronouncement by the Privy Council construing the earlier judgment in a manner which rendered the judgment of the High Court wrong. A Bench of that court held that the circumstances of that case attracted the provisions of Order 47, Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code and that the expression "error apparent on the face of the record" was wide enough to cover a case like that.

15. --Sourendranath v. Jatindranath', A. I. R. 1929 Cal 17 is also a case where the applicability of the expression "error apparent on the face of the record" in Order 47 Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code was considered. The learned Judges Mukherji and Jack JJ. before whom the matter came up for consideration took the view that the failure of the lower court to deal with the merits of an application to restore a petition dismissed for default which was in itself an application for the restoration of the suit dismissed for default on an erroneous view of Section 151, Civil Procedure Code amounted to an error apparent on the face of the record.

16. What was decided in -- Sarat Krishna Bose v. Bisweshwar Mitra', A. I. R. 1927 Cal 534 was where an application under Order 9 Rule 9 Civil Procedure Code was dismissed for default, the second application for restoring that application is not competent under Order 9 Rule 9, but that the second application could be treated as an application for the restoration of the suit itself dismissed for default if the second application was made within time to restore the suit and if such an application was not within time the inherent jurisdiction of the Court under Section 151 Civil Procedure Code could be invoked in proper cases to restore the suit. The reason of the rule is stated by the learned Judges thus.

"To meet cases such as this, Section 151 of the Code was enacted and where there is no provision in the Code expressly providing for a remedy and none which prohibits a remedy being administered and such remedy is called for in order to do that real and substantial justice for the administration of which it exists, the provision of Section 151 may and should be restored to."

Coming to our own High Court in -- 'Govinda Chettiar v. Varadappa Chettiar 1939-2-Mad. L. J. 809', Patanjali Sastri J. laid down that the misapprehension owing to which respondent's counsel did not urge all his argument in support of the finding recorded in favour of his clients by the first court and the consequent erroneous decision on the part of the Subordinate Judge that the Counsel had no arguments to urge to meet the points raised by the appellant's counsel are analogous to errors apparent on the face of the record so as to be sufficient reason for review under Order 47 Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code. Reference was made to two decisions in support of the learned Judge's finding reported in -- 'Kyone Hoe v. Kyon Soon Sun', 3 Rang 261 at p. 267 and --'Nagabhushanam v. Jagannaikalu', 49 Mad. L. J. 671.

17. In -- 'Natesa Naicker v. Sambanda Chettiar', 1941-2-Mad. L. J. 390 another Judge of this Court took the view that where the legal position is clearly established by a well-known authority and by some unfortunate oversight the Judge has gone wrong by the omission of those concerned to draw his attention to the authority, it may in a proper case be a ground for review in the light of the decision in -- 'Murari Rao v. Balavant', 48 Mad 955 as coming within the category of an error apparent on the face of the record.

18. It was the opinion of the learned Judge that -- 'Murari Rao v. Balvant', 46 Mad 955 which recognised the power of the court to review its order when it overlooked the leading authority on a clear matter of law was still good law evidently meaning that its authority has not In any way been shaken by the pronouncement of the Judicial Committee in -- 'Chhajjuram v. Neki', 26 Cal. W. N. 697 (P. C.).

19. In the light of the observations contained in the decided cases cited to us we are inclined to hold that the instant case is governed by the clause "an error apparent on the face of the record" contained in Order 47, Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code. At the time when, we passed the order, the question whether the Government acted without jurisdiction in exercising its powers under Section 64-A or whether the order of the Central Road Traffic. Board, was one which could be called either illegal or irregular or improper, to enable the State Government to interfere with that order was not considered by us. A plain reading of Section 64-A shows that it is only when the Government reaches a conclusion that the order sought to be revised was one falling under either of the three categories mentioned in Section 64-A that it can exercise its revisional powers under that section, We have held in G. M. P. No. 625 of 1951 that the Government order should 'ex facie' show that it applied its mind to the question of the legality, irregularity or propriety of the order of the Appellate Tribunal and that in the absence thereof the Government's order was liable to be quashed. No doubt our omission to consider that point was due to the Counsel not patting forward before us that aspect of the case, (that application have not (sic) been grounded on the arbitrary exercise by the Government of the power conferred on it under Section 64-A of the Act). But whoever might be responsible for it, if the most important point arising in the petition was not considered by us we think such an omission would constitute "an error apparent on the face of the record", within the meaning of the expression occurring in Or. 47 Rule 1 Civil Procedure Code so as to warrant a review of our order dated 9th January 1951.

20. It follows that our order dismissing the application for the issue of a writ of certiorari is discharged. A writ Nisi will issue in this case and the records in G. O. Ms. 5424 M. Home Department dated 27th December 1950 will be called for within two weeks. The petitioner will pay the respondent's costs (first respondent), Advocate's fee of Rs. 100 (one hundred only).


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