Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Plaintiff May File Application U/S 151 r/w Order XX Rule 6A Where Suit Is Conclusively Decided But No Decree Was Drawn: Meghalaya High Court

Jyoti Prakash Dutta
3 March 2022 4:57 PM GMT
Plaintiff May File Application U/S 151 r/w Order XX Rule 6A Where Suit Is Conclusively Decided But No Decree Was Drawn: Meghalaya High Court
x

The Meghalaya High Court has held that a plaintiff may file application under Section 151 r/w Order XX Rule 6A, where suit filed by him is conclusively decided but no formal decree was drawn to that effect. A Single Bench of Justice H. S. Thangkhiew observed, "These being matters of procedure, in the considered view of this Court, as there was no decree drawn up, the petitioner...

The Meghalaya High Court has held that a plaintiff may file application under Section 151 r/w Order XX Rule 6A, where suit filed by him is conclusively decided but no formal decree was drawn to that effect.

A Single Bench of Justice H. S. Thangkhiew observed,

"These being matters of procedure, in the considered view of this Court, as there was no decree drawn up, the petitioner is required to file an application under Section 151 read with Order 20 Rule 6-A CPC, before the lower Court below for drawing the decree in accordance with the order dated 04.07.2016."

Factual Background:

A title suit was instituted by the petitioners as plaintiffs before the Court of the Assistant to Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi District, Nongpoh, which in the course of proceedings resulted in a compromise between the parties. Thereafter, a compromise petition dated 07.06.2016, was filed before the Court below and the entire suit was disposed of by order dated 04.07.2016.

Due to the non-compliance of the terms of compromise by the respondents, the petitioners approached the Learned Lower Court for execution of the compromise deed dated 04.07.2016. The Learned Court below vide orders dated 02.07.2019 and 13.08.2019, appointed a Bailiff to act as a mediator to conduct local inspection to make proper measurements of the respective lands of the parties and to file report before the Court, which was filed on 19.08.2019.

The respondents through their counsel filed objection in the said Execution Case and the Court entertained their objection and disposed of the suit vide the impugned order dated 18.02.2020, by holding that there was no decree drawn up in terms of the compromise agreement dated 04.07.2016. It directed the parties to solve their own disputes and concluded by allowing the objection application of the respondents against the application for execution, which had been made by the petitioners under Order 21 Rule 15 of the CPC. Being aggrieved by the order, the petitioners have filed this revision petition.

Contentions:

Advocate S.R. Lyngdoh, counsel for the petitioner has referred to the judgment of S. Satnam Singh & Ors. v. Surender Kaur & Anr., wherein it was held that to determine the question as to whether, an order passed by the Court is a decree or not, it has to satisfy five tests, viz.

(i) There must be an adjudication;

(ii) Such adjudication must have been given in a suit;

(iii) It must have determined the rights of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit;

(iv) Such determination must be of a conclusive nature; and

(v) There must be a formal expression of such adjudication.

He argues that the instant suit has satisfied the tests, inasmuch as, there was such an adjudication in the suit determining the rights of the parties, which was conclusive in nature and that the formal expression was in the form of the petition. Also, the terms of compromise were detailed therein, signed by both the parties and endorsed by the Court.

He thus contended that, the impugned order is patently irregular and bad in law, in as much, it accepted the objections of the respondents and held that there was no decree to be executed, thereby disallowing the prayer of the petitioner.

Noteworthy to mention that despite notice and multiple adjournments, the respondents did not appear. Therefore, the Court chose to proceed ex parte against them.

Court's Observations:

The Court noted the provision dealing with compromise of suit under Order XXIII Rule 3, CPC. It observed that the provision contemplates that after the Court records the compromise as was done in the instant case vide order dated 04.07.2016, it shall proceed to pass a decree. However, in the present case even though the compromise deed was to the satisfaction of the learned Lower Court and the title suit was disposed of in terms of the said compromise, no formal decree was drawn up.

The Court relied on the case of Sir Sobha Singh and Sons Pvt. Ltd. v. Shashi Mohan Kapur (Deceased), on a similar question, the Apex Court has held that an execution application even if filed without a certified copy of the decree would be maintainable, and that it empowered the Executing Court to entertain the execution application and to decide the objections raised on merits.

The Highest Court in that case also observed that so long as the formal decree is not passed, the order was to be treated as a decree during the interregnum period by virtue of Order XX Rule 6A(2) of the Code. In other words, notwithstanding the fact that the decree had not been passed, yet by virtue of principle underlined in Order XX Rule 6A(2) of the Code, the order had the effect of a decree till the date of actual passing of the decree by the Court for the purposes of execution or for any other purpose. This empowered the Executing Court to entertain the execution application and decide the objections raised by the respondent on merits.

Having regard for the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court in the aforesaid case, the Court consequently set aside the impugned order of the lower Court. It also directed that the execution application on the preparation of the decree and the filing of the certified copy thereof, shall be taken up by the Executing Court. No objection shall be entertained by the Court below in the preparation of the decree as it is only a formality that is to be completed in terms of the compromise.

Case Title: Shri Delican Shadap & Anr. v. Smti. Dal Nongtri & Anr.

Case No.: CRP No. 30 of 2020

Date of Judgment: 03 March 2022

Coram: Justice H. S. Thangkhiew

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Meg) 5

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment


Next Story