[Section 96 CPC] when strangers can file appeal?
What is Section 96 CPC?
Section 96 of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 states about “Appeal from original decree”
It states that (1) Save where otherwise expressly provided in the body of this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, an appeal shall lie from every decree passed by any Court exercising original jurisdiction the Court authorized to hear appeals from the decisions of such Court.
(2) An appeal may lie from an original decree passed ex parte.
(3) No appeal shall lie from a decree passed by the Court with the consent of parties.
(4) No appeal shall lie, except on a question of law, from a decree in any suit of the nature cognisable by Courts of Small Cause, when the amount or value of the subject-matter of the original suit does not exceed three thousand rupees.
Under Sec 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a stranger can’t be allowed to file an appeal unless he persuades the Court that he falls within the category of ‘aggrieved persons’, the bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S. Ravindra Bhat ruled in the case of V.N.KRISHNA MURTHY vs. RAVIKUMAR [CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2701-2704 OF 2020].
Mere saying that the appellants are prejudicially affected by the decree is not sufficient. They have to demonstrate that they are prejudicially or adversely affected by the decree in question or any of their legal rights stands jeopardized.
Background of the Case
- The appellants were not party to the suit which was decreed by the Trial Court.
- Their application for being tried as an impleader in the suit was dismissed by the Trial Court.
- Later, they file an appeal before the High Court, which also refused to grant them leave.
Issue before the Hon’ble Supreme Court
The appellants argued that the 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.
Observation made by the Apex Court
- The Court noted that,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.
- Referring to the observation made in Srimathi K. Ponnalagu Ammani Vs. The State of Madras represented by the Secretary to the Revenue Department, Madras and Ors, the Court ruled 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.
- Reliance was also placed to the judgment of Shanti Kumar R. Canji Vs. Home Insurance Co. of New York and State of Rajasthan & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors.
- It further added 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.
- Upholding the judgment of High Court, the bench ruled, “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.”
[Section 96 CPC] when strangers can file appeal ?