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Naina Vs. S. Rajappa and K. Ramaiah, Trustees of Kailasanathar, Etc., Temples, T. Kallikulli - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1963)1MLJ180
AppellantNaina
RespondentS. Rajappa and K. Ramaiah, Trustees of Kailasanathar, Etc., Temples, T. Kallikulli
Excerpt:
- .....statute creating the tribunal expressly directs it to be treated as a civil court, normally the powers of a civil court under the code of civil procedure and other relevant enactments will not be available to the tribunal. there is no indication either in the act or the rules that the revenue court should be treated as a civil court. rather, the provisions confer certain powers on a named administrative officer for the purpose of the act. rule 8, as amended, of the madras cultivating tenants protection rules, 1955, no doubt states that every court constituted under the act shall have the powers exercisable by a civil court in the trial of suits. but the word ' court ' in the rule does not, when regard is had to the provisions of the act, 1955, or act xvi of 1956, imply that it is.....
Judgment:

Veeraswami, J.

1. The Revenue Court at Tiruchirappalli, on the application of the respondent-Devasthanam, passed eviction orders against the petitioners in this Court. But after the orders were passed, it is discovered that the survey numbers and the village relating to the particular blocks of land involved in each of the eviction petitions were wrongly given. For instance, in Petition No. 890 of 1959 before the Revenue Court the extent of the land as well as the boundaries were correctly set out. But the survey field is given as 206 instead of 79/2 and the village was wrongly described as Alangudi, while the proper description should have been Kallikudi. That petition was to evict Kalian who filed a counter-statement in which he never felt any doubt about the identity of the land of which he was a tenant. His plea in defence was based on other facts. The facts were more or less similar in the other petitions before the Revenue Court. On applications filed for the purpose by the respondent-Devasthanam, the Revenue Court, by its orders dated May 30, 1960, directed that the correct survey number as well as the village that pertained to each of the petitions for evictions be inserted. These petitions are to revise the orders of the Revenue Court.

2. Sri S. Rajarama Ayyar for the petitioners presented his contention on the assumption that the Revenue Court in excess of its powers or jurisdiction, reviewed its earlier order. If that is the correct description of what the Revenue Court in effect did, there can be no doubt that the learned Counsel's contention should be accepted, for, neither under the provisions of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, 1955, nor under the Rules framed thereunder, powers of review have been conferred upon the Revenue Court. Wherever there is a quasi-judicial Tribunal set up by a statute, which defined its powers, its jurisdiction is strictly confined to the limits of those powers. Unless the statute creating the Tribunal expressly directs it to be treated as a Civil Court, normally the powers of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure and other relevant enactments will not be available to the Tribunal. There is no indication either in the Act or the Rules that the Revenue Court should be treated as a Civil Court. Rather, the provisions confer certain powers on a named administrative officer for the purpose of the Act. Rule 8, as amended, of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Rules, 1955, no doubt states that every Court constituted under the Act shall have the powers exercisable by a Civil Court in the trial of suits. But the word ' Court ' in the Rule does not, when regard is had to the provisions of the Act, 1955, or Act XVI of 1956, imply that it is anything more than the Revenue Divisional Officer being Vested with certain specified powers. Sub-rule (2) of this Rule as a matter of fact enumerates certain specific powers which ranged from the power to frame issues and service of summons to a power of local inspection and the passing of orders. But in the view I take of the petitioner's case, I do not think I need pursue the contention of the petitioners regarding the Revenue Court's power of review. Learned Counsel for the petitioners invited my attention to a number of decisions of this Court which pertain to that point. But, for the same reason, it is needless to refer to them.

3. There can be no doubt, having regard to the particular statutory functions of the Revenue Court, that it is a quasi-judicial Tribunal. The question is whether where it finds certain mistakes can it correct those mistakes in its orders, provided such correction does not amount to a review of its earlier decision. The question that the Revenue Court had to decide in the petitions for eviction was whether the tenants defaulted in payment of rent, and, if so, eviction should be ordered. The land with which each petition was concerned was properly described by extent and boundaries. In fact, as I said, each tenant understood the identity of the land in each of the petitions and no objection was raised before the Revenue Court as to whether the land was properly described in the petitions. All that appears to have occurred is that while the land was properly described by boundaries and extent, the village and the survey number were wrongly given. In such circumstances, even without the name of the village being mentioned or the survey number given, the order in each of the petitions would have been perfectly all right on the basis of the description of the land given by boundaries and extent. Neither the parties nor the Revenue Court made any mistake about the identity of the lands themselves, so that it could be said that the decision did not pertain to the relative land. It cannot be disputed that the Revenue Court being not a Civil Court to which the powers under the Code of Civil Procedure can be attributed, it will have no inherent powers under Section 151 of that Code, But being a quasi-judicial Tribunal, short of reviewing its own orders, it must be assumed to have inherent power as such Tribunal, to correct inadvertent mistakes either in the pleadings or in the order, provided they do not amount to an amendment so to speak or a review of its decision.

4. A Division Bench of this Court in S.N. Komaraswami Gounden In re (1951) 1 M.L.J. 422 : 64 L.W. 730 was inclined to take that view. No doubt it was a case under the Madras Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act. In that case the learned Judges held:

Though Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure may not be applicable to proceedings under the Rent Control Act, a quasi-judicial Tribunal like the Rent Controller or the Appellate Tribunal has an inherent power to set right mistakes made by inadvertence provided the amendment sought does not constitute a review of the adjudication already made. Thus a wrong description of the door number of a house may be corrected in a Rent Control proceeding after the pronouncement of the order.

The principle of this decision, in my opinion, is undoubtedly applicable to the facts of the present case. The orders under revision did not amount to a review of the adjudication which the Revenue Court had made. The power that was exercised by the Revenue Court amounted to nothing more than correcting or setting right a mistake which had crept into the record by inadvertence.

4. On that view, the petitions are dismissed but with no order as to costs.


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