Appellate Court can re-hear both Question of Law and Fact under Section 96 CPC: SC

Recently, the Supreme Court observed that an appellate court’s jurisdiction u/s 96 of Civil Procedure Code, involves rehearing of appeals on facts and questions of law.

The Court observed thus while setting aside an order passed by Karnataka High Court which dismissed an appeal filed against Trial Court judgement. In that case, the Trial Court dealt with a petition u/s 278 of Indian Succession Act where the petitioner made a prayer for the issuance of letter of administration concerning a Will made by one Srinivas Gambhir.

Hon’ble Court noted that even though the appeal before the High Court involved questions of facts and law, the High Court dismissed the appeal without examining the facts and questions through a cryptic order.

In the instant case, the Court referred to Section 96 of CPC that provides for filing an appeal from a decree passed by original jurisdiction court and Order 41 Rule 31 of CPC that provides the guidelines to appellate Court for deciding such appeals.

The Bench stated that the judgement of the appellate Court should state the following:-

  • The decision
  • Points for determination
  • Reasons for the Decision
  • If the decree is reversed or varied, what relief the appellant is entitled to.

As per the Bench, the settled law is that an appeal is a continuation of original proceedings. Appellate courts jurisdiction involves a rehearing of appeal on questions of facts as well as law. The Court further stated that the first appeal is a valuable right and all facts and law decided by the trial court are open for reconsideration. Therefore, the Appellate Court’s judgment should contain all the relevant information and reason for the order as well. Also, the appellate Court should always comply with Order 41 Rule 31, and if they are not followed, it will lead to infinity in judgement.

Case Details:-

Title: MANJULA vs SHYAMSUNDAR

Case No.: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6744 of 2013

Date of Order:27.01.2021

Coram: Hon’ble Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Hon’ble Justice Surya Kant

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