The Supreme Court in Sk. Bhikan vs. Mehamoodabee, has observed that when a High Court is called upon to interpret the documents and examine its effect, it involves questions of law and it is obligatory upon the High Court to decide such questions on merits.
The Bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice R.K. Agrawal remanded a Second appeal to High Court which it had dismissed in limine. The Court said that the appeal did involve the substantial questions of law and, therefore, the High Court should have admitted the appeal by first framing substantial questions of law arising in the case, and then after giving notice to the respondents for the final hearing .
The bench observed that, the instant case the High Court did not examine any document for deciding the ownership issue in relation to the suit property. “When the Court is called upon to interpret the documents and examine its effect, it involves questions of law. It is, therefore, obligatory upon the High Court to decide such questions on merits. In this case, the High Court could do so after framing substantial questions of law as required under Section 100 of the Code. It was, not done however in this case.”
In the facts of the case, the bench observed “The questions as to whether the suit property is self-acquired property of late Sk. Noor Mohammad and, if so, whether respondent No.1 was entitled to inherit the same as his legal representative in accordance with the shares defined in the Mohammedan Law and secondly, whether the suit property is self-acquired property of the appellant (defendant No.1) on the strength of documents filed by him and, if so, whether it has resulted in excluding respondent No.1 to claim any share in such property as an heir of Sk. Noor Mohammad, was required to be decided by framing substantial questions of law in the light of proved documents filed by defendant No.1 because it was his case that the suit property was his self-acquired property.”
Read the Judgment here.