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The District Official Receiver Vs. Lakshmi Ammal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1974)2MLJ397
AppellantThe District Official Receiver
RespondentLakshmi Ammal and ors.
Excerpt:
- - in those circumstances, factually the court below held that the vendees under exhibits a-1 to a-3 obtained the sales for valuable consideration and in good faith and they were not intended to defeat and delay the other creditors of the insolvent. instead of themselves going into the box and parrot-like repeating that the consideration paid by them under the challenged exhibits is proper and in accordance with the prevailing market price, the vendees examined the karnam as an independent witness who satisfied the court that the consideration paid under the said documents was proper......statutory provision, therefore, says that interference is possible by the high court against the orders of the district court in questions of law, it follows that findings of fact rendered by such tribunals created under the act are findings which are final as provided for in section 75(1) itself.4. the question, however, in the instant case is whether the non-examination of the vendees under exhibits a-1, a-2 and a-3 by itself lends support to the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that a question of law has arisen in these proceedings. i am unable to agree with this contention. a litigant has an option either to get into the box to prove his case or otherwise satisfy the court or tribunal concerned by letting in substitute or alternative evidence in order to.....
Judgment:
ORDER

T. Ramaprasada Rao, J.

1. Three sales evidenced by Exhibits A-1 to A-3 were attacked by the Official Receiver, Tirunelveli, on the ground that the vendor under those deeds of sale was later adjudicated insolvent within two months from the date of such transactions and that two of the vendees therein were his own creditors and that he fraudulently preferred those two creditors and in any event all the sales are vitiated because they were not for valuable consideration and they were made with the intention to enable the insolvent to defeat and delay his creditors. During the pendency of these proceedings, the insolvent died and his legal representatives are before me as respondents. The Official Receiver's case is that the alienees did not examine themselves to prove that the sales were supported by consideration and that they were not for the purpose of fradulently preferring some of the creditors or not for the purpose of defeating or delaying the other creditors. The lower Court, however, accepted the recitals in the registered deeds as prima facie evidence and for that purpose relied upon the testimony of R.W. 1, the karnam of the village who was an independent witness.

He spoke to the value of the property and also to the fact that the sales were for a fair price and for marketable consideration. In those circumstances, factually the Court below held that the vendees under Exhibits A-1 to A-3 obtained the sales for valuable consideration and in good faith and they were not intended to defeat and delay the other creditors of the insolvent. It is as against these orders the present civil revision petitions have been filed under Section 75(1) of the Provincial Insolvency Act.

2. Though it is characterised as a civil revision petition, the scope of these proceedings which are special ones arising out of the first proviso to Section 75 (1) of the Provincial Insolvency Act has certain special features. The High Court, in any case, and for the purpose of satisfying itself that an order made in any appeal decided by the District Court was according to law, may call for the records and pass such orders with respect thereto as it thinks fit. No doubt this provision enables a dissatisfied party in such proceedings before the District Courts to call for the attention of the High Court and for the High Court to exercise its jurisdiction under the first proviso to Section 75 (1). Under Section 75 (1) inter alia the Receiver who is aggrieved by a decision of the insolvency Court which is subordinate to a District Court may appeal to the District Court and seek for orders. It therefore follows that the Official Receiver has the right to invite the attention of this Court also to call for a decision from the High Court if in his view the District Court in its appellate jurisdiction passed an order which is not in accordance with law. It is in these circumstances, the present proceedings come up before me.

3. Undoubtedly these proceedings are maintainable under the special provision under Section 75(1) of the Provincial Insolvency Act. But as I said, the scope of the power of this Court to exercise under the said provision is rather narrow. It can only interfere on a question of law. When the Legislature, therefore, vests such a narrow and peculiar jurisdiction in the High Court, under a special enactment, then the exercise of its jurisdiction has to be within the limits pointed out by the statutory provision. When the statutory provision, therefore, says that interference is possible by the High Court against the orders of the District Court in questions of law, it follows that findings of fact rendered by such tribunals created under the Act are findings which are final as provided for in Section 75(1) itself.

4. The question, however, in the instant case is whether the non-examination of the vendees under Exhibits A-1, A-2 and A-3 by itself lends support to the contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner that a question of law has arisen in these proceedings. I am unable to agree with this contention. A litigant has an option either to get into the box to prove his case or otherwise satisfy the Court or Tribunal concerned by letting in substitute or alternative evidence in order to substantiate his case. Instead of themselves going into the box and parrot-like repeating that the consideration paid by them under the challenged exhibits is proper and in accordance with the prevailing market price, the vendees examined the karnam as an independent witness who satisfied the Court that the consideration paid under the said documents was proper. The other question is whether the petitioner himself has let in any substantial evidence to set at naught registered documents under which title to property has admittedly passed by reason of the insolvent selling the property for consideration to the vendee under Exhibits A-1 to A-3. Except for the bare ipse dixit nothing substantial was proved or brought on record by the petitioner in these petitions to challenge the regularity or the genuineness or even the propriety of the sale. It was in these circumstances that both the insolvency Court (the Subordinate Judge of Tirunelveli) and the District Judge, Tirunelveli, concurred in finding that the sales are not hit by Sections 53 and 54 of the Provincial Insolvency Act. As a matter of fact they found that they are genuine transactions and are not tainted with any mala fide intention. They have also added that all the sales are supported by valuable consideration. These are all findings of fact which this Court cannot lightly dislodge under the first proviso to Section 75 (1) of the Act.

5. Barring these, no acceptable contention has been placed before me to interfere with the order of the District Court. As this Court can only exercise jurisdiction in a limited way and cause interference with such orders and as I said such interference is possible only if there is any error of law in the order challenged, I am unable to set aside the orders of the Courts below as no such error of law is either apparent or has been placed before me.

6. The civil revision petitions are dismissed. No costs.


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