SC: Stranger Cannot File an Appeal Under Section 96 of the CPC Unless He Is an ‘Aggrieved Person’

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The Hon’ble Supreme Court heard the case of V.N.Krishnamurthy v Ravikumar. The Bench consisted of Hon’ble Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari. The question before the Court, in this case, was whether the Appellants held the locus to question the Judgment and Decree passed by the Trial Court and whether the High Court can reject the leave to appeal.

Brief Facts

The dispute relates to land situated in village Jakkur, Bengaluru. Respondent No. 5 and 6 were the owners of the land in dispute for which they executed a registered agreement of sale in favour of the Respondent, Karnataka State Khadi and Village Industries Worker’s House Building Co-operative Society Ltd. They also executed a general power of attorney in favour of the office bearers authorizing them to enter into a sale transaction of the suit property on their behalf. The power of attorney gave absolute rights to do all acts necessary for the sale of the property. As a result, a sale deed was thereafter executed in favour of the Appellants. 

The disputed property being ancestral property and the Plaintiffs being co-owners, the Defendant had no right to execute the sale agreement was the ground for the Petition. Further, since the sale agreement did not culminate into a sale transaction, the same is time-barred by the law of limitation. The Trial Court ruled in favour of the Plaintiff. The Defendants then preferred an appeal to the High court which stood dismissed. An appeal was thereafter filed in the Apex Court.

Court’s Judgment

Section 96 and 100 of the CPC provides for preferring an appeal from any Original Decree. It does not enumerate the categories of persons who can file an appeal. However, it is a settled legal proposition that a stranger is not permitted to file an appeal unless he satisfies that he falls in the category of ‘aggrieved persons’. The term ‘person aggrieved’ does not include a person who suffers from psychological or imaginary injury but one whose rights or interests have been adversely affected.

Although the Appellants contended that they were “aggrieved persons”, the Courts did not find it convincing as no material placed on record could demonstrate the same. Further, the entire Plaint was silent about the sale deed executed in favour of the Appellants by the General Power of Attorney holders. Thus, the Appellants were not ‘aggrieved persons’. This led the Court to dismiss the appeal.


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