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Cross Objection Should Be Disposed On Merits Notwithstanding Dismissal Of Appeal: SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
16 July 2019 12:57 PM GMT
Cross Objection Should Be Disposed On Merits Notwithstanding Dismissal Of Appeal: SC [Read Judgment]

"Rejection of cross objection without any discussion and reason cannot be countenanced."

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The Supreme Court has observed that cross has to be disposed of on its merits by assigning reasons notwithstanding the dismissal of the appeal.

In Shri Badru (since deceased) vs. NTPC Limited., against the award of Reference Court, the State and NTPC filed appeals before the High Court of Himachal Pradesh under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act. Landowners filed the cross objection under Order 41 Rule 22 of the Code. The High Court dismissed the appeals and cross objection and upheld the award.

While considering the appeal filed by land owners, the Apex Court bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra noted that the High Court had dismissed the cross objection without assigning any reason. The bench observed that it was obligatory on the part of the High Court to have independently examined the issues raised by the landowners before the High Court in the cross objection with a view to find out as to whether any case was made out on facts by the landowners for further enhancement in the compensation and, if so, to what extent. It said:

"Order 41 Rule 22(4) of the Code, provides that where, in any case in which any respondent has under this rule filed a memorandum of objection, the original appeal is withdrawn or is dismissed for default, the objection so filed may nevertheless be heard and determined after such notice to the other parties as the Court thinks fit.


In our considered opinion, merely because the High Court dismissed the appeals filed by the respondents herein though on merits, yet that by itself would not result in dismissal of the landowners' cross objection also. In our view, the cross objection had to be disposed of on its merits notwithstanding the dismissal of the appeals as provided by in Order 41 Rule 22 (4) of the Code by assigning reasons."

Remanding the case to High Court, the bench further observed that the rejection of cross objection without any discussion and reason cannot be countenanced. It is not, therefore, legally sustainable, the bench held.

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