Or.41, Rule 31 of C.P.C - Powers of first Appellate court - The first appeal has to be decided on facts as well as on law. In the first appeal parties have the right to be heard both on questions of law as also on facts and the first appellate court is required to address itself to all issues and decide the case by giving reasons. Unfortunately, the High Court, in the present case has not recorded any finding either on facts or on law.- Apex court held that - 2015 S.C.(2014) MSK Law Reports 2
Order 41 CPC deals with appeals from original decrees. Among the various
rules, Rule 31 mandates that the judgment of the appellate court shall
(a) the points for determination;
(b) the decision thereon;
(c) the reasons for the decision; and
(d) where the decree appealed from is reversed or varied, the relief to
which the appellant is entitled.
The appellate court has jurisdiction to reverse or affirm the findings
of the trial court. The first appeal is a valuable right of the parties and
unless restricted by law, the whole case is therein open for rehearing both
on questions of fact and law. The judgment of the appellate court must,
therefore, reflect its conscious application of mind and record findings
supported by reasons, on all the issues arising along with the contentions
put forth, and pressed by the parties for decision of the appellate court.
Sitting as a court of first appeal, it was the duty of the High Court to
deal with all the issues and the evidence led by the parties before
recording its findings. The first appeal is a valuable right and the
parties have a right to be heard both on questions of law and on facts and
the judgment in the first appeal must address itself to all the issues of
law and fact and decide it by giving reasons in support of the findings.
Being the first appellate court, it was the duty of the High Court to
have decided the first appeal keeping in view the scope and powers
conferred on it under Section 96 read with Order 41 Rule 31 ibid mentioned
above. It was unfortunately not done, thereby, resulting in causing
prejudice to the appellant whose valuable right to prosecute in the first
appeal on facts and law was adversely affected which, in turn, deprived him
of a hearing in the appeal in accordance with law.
It is for this reason, we are unable to uphold the impugned judgment
of the High Court.
The appeal thus succeeds and is accordingly allowed. The impugned
judgment is set aside.
The case is remanded to the High Court for deciding the first appeal
afresh, keeping in view the principle of law laid down by this Court quoted
supra. - 2015 S.C.(2014) MSK Law Reports 2.