Libertatem Magazine

High Court Cannot Dismiss Land Revenue Case Without Recording Reasons: Supreme Court

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Case Name: Sunita Agrawal vs. Bhanwarlal and Another [Civil Appeal No. 301/2021]

Supreme Court on 1st February 2021, took into its consideration a case related to land revenue in which the High court of Madhya Pradesh passed a summary order of dismissing a land revenue case without recording the reasons for the same. In the present case, the court set aside the order of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh.

Facts of the case:

In the present case, the appellant is the owner of the property. She purchased the property in the year 2006. She pleaded for the mutation of the property in her name in the Board of Revenue. The Board of Revenue passed an order in which her plea was dismissed. 

After being aggrieved by the order of the Board of Revenue, she filed a plea in the High court of Madhya Pradesh.  In the order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, her plea was dismissed. Also, the High Court did not assign or recorded any reason for the same.

After the order of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, the appellant was aggrieved by the order and filed a plea to the Supreme Court. Here, in the present case, the Supreme Court took cognizance of the matter.

Pleadings in the Court:

  1. In the present case, the counsel appearing on behalf of respondent No. 2 has entered an appearance for I. A to substitute services that have become infructuous and are disposed of.
  2. The high court had recorded that the parties were advancing contentions but they did not have any record of them. 

Observations of the Court:

The court observed that “the approach of Article 136 of the constitution cannot be adopted while deciding a petition by the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.”

The Division bench of the Supreme Court constituting J. Sk Kaul and J. Hrishikesh Roy, made the observations while hearing the appeal petition which was filed against the order made by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh under Article 227 of the Constitution. They referred to the special powers given to the Supreme Court under Article 136 and was of the view that the approach of the top court “cannot be adopted” by the High courts while the cases are being decided by the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. Also, they should give some reasons in their orders as they are challenged.

Also while giving the matter back to the High Court for reconsideration, the court observed that “There is no reflection of these so-called submissions which are stated to have been advanced at length. It is not necessary, in our view, in the matter like this to record elaborate reasons but since these matters are carried forward to this Court, the reasons, albeit brief, have to be recorded to facilitate this Court to understand what weighed with the learned Judge while dismissing the petition,”

Order of the Court:

The court made the order in the following words:

“We are thus constrained to set aside the impugned order and remit the matter back for reconsideration so that the order to be passed one way or the other records reasons for the same, albeit even if they are brief.”

The court further ordered that “In view of what has transpired in the impugned order, it would be in the fitness of things that the matter is placed before another learned Judge. The appeal is allowed,”

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