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[Section 96 CPC] Strangers Cannot File Appeal Unless They Satisfy The Court That They Are 'Aggrieved Persons': SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
21 Aug 2020 2:02 PM GMT
[Section 96 CPC] Strangers Cannot File Appeal Unless They Satisfy The Court That They Are Aggrieved Persons: SC [Read Judgment]
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"Mere saying that the appellants are prejudicially affected by the decree is not sufficient."
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The Supreme Court has observed that strangers cannot be permitted to file an appeal under Section 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure unless he satisfies the Court that he falls within the category of 'aggrieved persons'.

They have to demonstrate that they are prejudicially or adversely affected by the decree in question or any of their legal rights stands jeopardized, the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S. Ravindra Bhat observed.

The appellants before the High Court were not party to the suit which was decreed by the Trial Court. Though they had tried to get impleaded in the suit, their applications were dismissed by the Trial Court. The High Court also refused to grant them leave to file an appeal.

Before the Apex court, they contended that the judgment of the Trial Court holding the sale agreements time barred and granting a decree of permanent injunction actually affects their interests as they are in possession of the suit property. The bench observed:

Section 96 and 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure provide for preferring an appeal from any original decree or from decree in appeal respectively. The aforesaid provisions do not enumerate the categories of persons who can file an appeal. However, it is a settled legal proposition that a stranger cannot be permitted to file an appeal in any proceedings unless he satisfies the Court that he falls with the category of aggrieved persons. It is only where a judgment and decree prejudicially affects a person who is not party to the proceedings, he can prefer an appeal with the leave of the Appellate Court.

The bench, referring to some earlier decisions including Srimathi K. Ponnalagu Ammani Vs. The State Of Madras represented by the Secretary to the Revenue Department, Madras and Ors., noted that ordinarily leave to appeal should be granted to persons who, though not parties to the proceedings, would be bound by the decree or judgment in that proceeding and who would be precluded from attacking its correctness in other proceedings. It also noted that the expression 'person aggrieved' does not include a person who suffers from a psychological or an imaginary injury; a person aggrieved must, therefore, necessarily be one, whose right or interest has been adversely affected or jeopardized ( Shanti Kumar R. Canji Vs. Home Insurance Co. of New York and State of Rajasthan & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors.).

Perusing the judgment and decree of the Trial Court, the bench said that it is in no sense a judgment in rem and it is binding only as between the plaintiffs and defendants of the suit, and not upon the appellants. Upholding the High Court judgment, the bench observed:

"Though it has been vehemently contended before us and also pleaded before the High Court that the judgment and decree of the Trial Court affects the appellants adversely. The appellants have failed to place any material or demonstrate as to how the judgment and decree passed by the Trial Court adversely or prejudicially affects them. Mere saying that the appellants are prejudicially affected by the decree is not sufficient. It has to be demonstrated that the decree affects the legal rights of the appellants and would have adverse effect when carried out. Facts of the case clearly demonstrate that suit which has been decreed is confined only to a declaration sought in respect of an agreement to sell. Injunction was also sought only against the defendant- society or its officers or assigns. There is not even a whisper in the entire plaint or in suit proceedings about the sale deed executed in favour of the appellants by the General Power of Attorney holders or even for that matter in the judgment and decree of the Trial Court.. The appellants have thus failed to demonstrate that they are prejudicially or adversely affected by the decree in question or any of their legal rights stands jeopardized so as to bring them within the ambit of the expression 'person aggrieved' entitling them to maintain appeal against the decree" 
Case details
Case no. : CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2701-2704 OF 2020
Case name: V.N.KRISHNA MURTHY  vs. RAVIKUMAR 
Coram: Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S. Ravindra Bha



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