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Rajeswari Vs. United India Insurance Co. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberTr. C.M.P. No. 16778 of 1982
Reported inAIR1984Mad170; (1984)1MLJ19
ActsConstitution of India - Article 227; Motor Vehicle Act, 1939 - Sections 1 and 10-A
RespondentUnited India Insurance Co.
Appellant AdvocateK. Subramaniam, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateM.V. Chandran, Adv.
Cases ReferredAnnamalai v. M. Arumuaaswami.
motor vehicles - transfer - article 227 of constitution of india and motor vehicles act, 1939 - petition to transfer proceeding from tribunal to another on account of difficulty in bringing witnesses - act of 1939 does not provide for transfer of cases from one tribunal to another - court competent under article 227 to issue transfer of cases from one tribunal to another in interest of justice - present case fit to issue such transfer order petition allowed. - - i am satisfied that the high court has no jurisdiction under art. it has been clearly held that the dower of superintendence over all courts and tribunals under another. high court is not embowered to transfer the proceedings pending before an accidents claims tribunal to another tribunal. referring to the scheme of the act. it was held that accidents claims tribunal having been constituted to take away the jurisdiction of the civil court relating to compensation which would arise under -act and that only appellate dower having been conferred on the high court under motor vehicles act and when exercise of powers by high court could arise only on appeal being preferred and no supervisor jurisdiction having been conferred on the high court over accidents claims tribunal the pending proceedings before tribunals cannot be transferred. the mere circumstance that the high court is the appellate or revisional authority does not empower the.....

1. Petitioner filed M.O.P. 523 of 1982 on the file of the Additional Sub. Judge 11. Chengalpattu. Claiming compensation under S. 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act. since her husband was killed in a motor accident that took Place it 7-30 Dm. on 13-7-1982. Near Kothari Chemicals in Ennore Express Road. When he was driving the van TN 7815. She claims that all the witnesses to be examined are in Madras and it would be extremely difficult for her to take all the. Witnesses to attend several hearings by Tribunal. Located in ChengalDattu and by transfer of the proceedings none of the Parties to the proceedings would be Prejudiced if the Tribunal at Madras is dircted to hear the matter,

2. On behalf of the first respondent Insurance Company. it is stated that by invoking S. 24. C. P. C the proceedings cannot be transferred and hence. This petition is not maintainable.

3. The Petition is filed by invoking S. 24 and S. 151. C.P.C. and during the course of the hearing learned counsel for the Petitioner sought for permission to include Art. 227 of the Constitution and. accordingly it has been granted.

4. Article 227 of the Constitution of India reads as follows-

'M Every High Court shall have superintendence over all courts and tribunals throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision the High Court may

(a) Call for return from such courts-.

(b) Make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and Proceedings of such courts and

(c) Prescribe forms in which books entries and accounts shall be kept by the officers of any such courts.

(3) The High Court may also settle tables of fees to be allowed to the sheriff and all clerks and officers of such courts and to attorneys advocates and pleaders practicing therein:

Provided that any rules made from Prescribed or tables settled -under Cl. (2) or Cl. (5) shall not be' inconsistent with the Provision of any law for the time being in force and shall require the previous approval of the Governor. (4) Nothing in this article shall be deemed to, confer on a High Court Dowers of superintendence over any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.'

5. Supreme Court. in dealing with the scope and ambit of Art. 227. Held in Warvam Singh v. Amarnath. : [1954]1SCR565 that it confers on the High Court a Power of 'judicial' superintendence apart from and independently of the Provisions of other laws conferring revisional jurisdiction on the High Court. It was observed that material Dart of Art. 227 substantiality reproduces the Provisions of S. 107 of the Government*t of India Act. 1915. Except that the Dower of superintendence has been extended by this Article also to Tribunals. It was a case wherein the Rent Controller and the District Judge exercising jurisdiction under the Fast Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act 1940 were held to be Tribunals functioning within the Jurisdiction of the Judicial Commissioner of Himachal Pradesh. Regarding the contention that Cl. (2) of Art. 227 confers and the High Court only administrative superintendence over subordinate courts and tribunals. it was held that when Cl. (2) is expressed to be without Prejudice to the generality of the provisions of Cl. (1) such a restricted power is not contemplated in Article 227.

6. In State of Gujarat v. VakhatsinghiL : [1968]3SCR692 considering the scope of Supervisor jurisdiction of the High Court under Art. 227 it was held that Art. 227 cannot be limited by any Act of the State Legislature and its supervisory jurisdiction extends to keeping the subordinate tribunals within the limits of their authority and to see that they obey the law.

7. Learned counsel for the Petitioner would then refer to Maharaja Kumar Gaibir Singh v. Sathir Singh. which took the view that. even assuming that S. 24. C. P. C. cannot be invoked. for transfer of a case to another court. High Court has got ample Powers under Art. 227 to transfer the same.

8. In Puda Venkatanaravana v. Thota, Ramaswami. : AIR1955AP40 . Art. 227 was held to be entirely distinct and different from Art. 226 said that Art. 227 confers upon High Court a Power of supervision over all judicial matters decided by any court or tribunal within the State and therefore. In that case. it was held that it was eminently a fit and order case in which Dower of superintendence should be exercised for transferring the election Petition to another Deputy Registrar for disposal.

9. On behalf -_ of first respondent reliance was placed on the decision of this court in Veralakshmi Sundar v. Meeran, : (1980)2MLJ106 which took the view that when Motor Vehicles Act does not contain any Provision for transfer of a Petition from one Tribunal to another. High Court is not embowered to transfer the Proceedings Pending before an Accidents Claims Tribunal to another Tribunal. Referring to the scheme of the Act. it was held that Accidents Claims Tribunal having been constituted to take away the jurisdiction of the civil Court relating to compensation which would arise under -Act and that Only appellate Dower having been conferred on the High Court under Motor Vehicles Act and when exercise of powers by High Court could arise only on appeal being preferred and no supervisor jurisdiction having been conferred on the High Court over Accidents Claims Tribunal the pending proceedings before Tribunals cannot be transferred. The mere circumstance that the High Court is the appellate or revisional authority does not empower the exercise of Powers of transfer. over claims filed for compensation and Pending before Tribunals.

10. The decision of this court in Annamalai v. M. Arumuaaswami. (1982) 95 MLW 687 was also referred to. The question as to whether Art. 227 would be invoked. was considered in this decision. and it was held that though this Power can be exercised by High Court either administratively or judicially. the High Court cannot supervise the legislature as it could go against substantial provisions in legislative enact merits. It was then observed therein as follows;-

'..... ...... 1n other words whatever powers Act. 227 confers on the High Court. An amendatory legislative power cannot be one of them. It has already been noticed that by a substantive provision in the Motor Vehicles Act the jurisdiction of a Claims Tribunal is severely confined to adjudication of claims arising out of accident's occurring strictly within the territorial limits of its jurisdiction. it follows that this statutory, restriction on the Tribunal's jurisdiction can be altered. only by legislative amendment. And not by any other mode. However omni Conivetent the High Court can be under Art. 227 surely it cannot. by its fiat alter the place of occurrence of a motor accident. 'The accident spot is an unalterable. fact. It follows therefore. That the High Court would be Dowerless, even under Art. 227 to change the jurisdiction of Tribunals by exercising the power of transfer. It can only do so I if it has the power which it has not of pretending that the accident in question has occurred. in the area over which the transferee Tribunal presides and not in the area where it actually took place. I am satisfied that the High Court has no jurisdiction under Art. 227. of the Constitution to transfer any pending accident case from the Tribunal having territorial jurisdiction over it to any other Tribunal having jurisdiction over any other area.'

In the light of the decisions of the Supreme Court above referred. in (1982) 95 MLW 687. the view taken that when by substantial provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. Jurisdiction of a Claims Tribunal having been confined to adjudication of claim arising out of accidents occurring strictly within the territorial limits of its jurisdiction. the statutory restriction exi4ting can be altered only by legislative amendment and not by any other mode and hence however omni competent the Dower that could be exercised by High - Court under Art. 227, it cannot be exercised as to no against the substantial - provisions in legislati7ve enactments cannot be, correct.

11. In : [1968]3SCR692 above referred to. it has been clearly held that the Dower of superintendence over all courts and tribunals under Art. 227 cannot be limited by any Act of the Legislature. When it has - been repeatedly held by Supreme- Court that the Dower of superintendence is both judicial and administrative. To proceed on the basis that for exercising powers under Article 227. one should look to the Legislature because exercise of powers under the said Article in a particular manner would go against the substantial provisions of the enactment: overlooks the fact that the Dower exercised under Art. 227 is a constitutional Dower. 'and no legislative- enactment can take away or circumscribe or nullify the exercise Of supervisory Dowers conferred by -the Constitution' on High Courts. In the light of what has been held by the supreme Court. as above referred when the power of transfer of proceedings within its jurisdiction is part of its Supervisory Jurisdiction absence of any provision having been made in motor vehicles Act. for transfer. to be effected, would not derive the High Court of the Down to transfer vending ' Proceedings from one tribunal to another. if circumstances Warrant.

12. When petitioner had stated that she is placed in a disadvantageous position in taking witnesses all the way to Chengalvattu from Madras. and as the accident had taken place in the outskirts of Madras and the Claims Tribunal it Madras could hear the matter with lead inconvenience to any of the parties to the Proceedings. this is a fit matter wherein. as prayed for. transfer requires to be ordered. Hence this petition is allowed. No costs.

13. Petition allowed.

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