SC Again Reminds High Courts About Limitations While Considering Second Appeals [Read Judgment]
"While deciding the second appeal under Section 100 of the CPC, it is not permissible for the High Court to re-appreciate the evidence on record."
The Supreme Court, in a judgment delivered on Wednesday, again reminded the High Courts about their limitations while considering a second appeal under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
While setting aside a Punjab and Haryana High Court order in a second appeal, the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah 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."
Erroneous Substantial Questions of Law
These were the substantial question of law framed by the High court in the present case
- Whether the Appellate Court can reverse the findings recorded by the learned trial court without adverting to the specific finding of the trial Court?
- Whether the judgment passed by the learned lower Appellate Court is perverse and outcome of misreading of evidence?
Cannot re-appreciate evidence in Second Appeal
The bench observed that these questions cannot be said to be substantial questions of law at all.It said:
"On going through the substantial questions of law framed by the High Court, we are of the opinion that the question of law framed by the High Court while deciding the second appeal, cannot be said to be substantial questions of law at all."
The court said that it is not permissible for the High Court to re-appreciate 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. While parting, the bench said:
"We are constrained to observe as above and remind the High Courts the limitations under Section 100 of the CPC and again hope that High Courts would keep in mind the legal position before interfering in Second Appeal under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure."