Can Second Appeal be Dismissed Without Framing Substantial Question of Law? SC Judgment

In a recent case, the Supreme Court has observed that High Courts are not required to frame substantial questions of law while dismissing second appeals filed before them.

The Bench further observed that the formulation of question of law or its reformulation is required only when there are some questions of law and not if there is an absence of questions of law.

Background of the case:

In the instant case, the Apex Court was adjudicating an appeal that was filed against a High Court judgement which had dismissed a second appeal that was filed against concurrent findings of the First Appellate Court and the Trial Court.

One of the arguments raised before the Court was that the High Court dismissed the appeal without framing any substantial questions of law which is compulsory u/s 100 of CPC.

Observations of the Court

Hon’ble Court observed that in case substantial questions of law that are framed by the appellants are found to be arising, only then the High Court is required to frame a question of law. If no question arises, then the High Court doesn’t need to frame any substantial question of law.

In short, formulation or reformulation of question of law is not mandatory if there was no question of law, to begin with, and also if there was an absence of question of law.

The High Court is not required to frame the substantial question of law if the Court is satisfied that the finding of the First Appellate Court was correct, the Bench noted.

While referring to case laws relied on by the appellant, it was observed that none of the case laws mandates that High Courts are required to frame substantial questions of law while upholding the judgement of the First Appellate Court.

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A reference was also made to Md. Mohammed Ali vs Jagadish Kalita & Ors that was relied on by the appellants and the Court noted that in that case, the High Court had made a mistake while dismissing the appeal without formulating the substantial question of law.

The Bench also noted the findings in Ashok Rangnath Magar vs Shrikant Govind Rao Sangvikar where it was held that a second appeal could be dismissed without formulating a substantial question of law.

Another issue that was raised before the Court was that as per Section 28 of Delhi Revenue Act, there is a bar on the jurisdiction of Civil Courts to entertain boundary dispute cases. On this issue, the Court clarified that Land Revenue Act does not bar the jurisdiction of Civil Courts and that the boundary disputes between two separate revenue estates, does not include demarcation of the land of the parties.

Case Details:-

Title: Kirpa Ram (Deceased) vs Surendra Deo Gaur

Case No. Appeal No. 8971 of 2010

Coram: Hon’ble Justice L Nageswara Rao, Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta and Hon’ble Justice Ajay Rastogi

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