SC yet again reminds the High Courts of the limitations under Section 100 CPC

Supreme Court: The Court, yet again, reminded the High Courts of the limitations under Section 100 CPC and said:

“despite the catena of decisions of this Court and even the mandate under Section 100 of the CPC, the High Courts under Section 100 CPC are disturbing the concurrent findings of facts and/or even the findings recorded by the First Appellate Court, either without formulating the substantial question of law or on framing erroneous substantial question of law.”

The bench L Naeswara Rao and MR Shah, JJ was hearing the appeal against the judgment of Punjab and Haryana High Court wherein the High Court had allowed the Second Appeal and had quashed   and set aside the judgment and decree passed by the First Appellate Court dismissing the suit and consequently has restored the judgment and decree passed by the Trial Court decreeing the suit relating to perpetual injunction.

The bench noticed that:

“While interfering with the judgment and order passed by the first Appellate Court, it appears that while upsetting the judgment and decree passed by the First Appellate Court, the High Court has   again appreciated the entire evidence on record, which in exercise of powers under Section 100 CPC is not permissible. While passing the impugned judgment and order, it appears that High Court has not at all appreciated the fact that the High Court was deciding the Second Appeal under Section 100 of the CPC and not first appeal under Section 96 of the CPC.”

The Court reiterated that the jurisdiction of the High Court, in an appeal under Section 100 of the CPC, is strictly confined to the case involving substantial question of law and while deciding the second appeal under Section 100 of the CPC, it is not permissible for the High Court to re­appreciate the evidence on record and interfere with the findings recorded by the Courts below and/or the First Appellate Court and if the First Appellate Court has exercised its discretion in a judicial manner, its decision cannot be recorded as suffering from an error either of law or of procedure requiring interference in Second Appeal.

[Gurnam Singh v. Lehna Singh, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 374, decided on 13.03.2019]

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