Shri Balwantrai Chimanlal Trivedi Vs.
M. N. Nagrashna & Ors  INSC 118 (3 August 1960)
SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P.(CJ) KAPUR, J.L.
CITATION: 1960 AIR 1292
CITATOR INFO :
D 1974 SC 471 (8) R 1977 SC2031 (2) F 1978 SC
Supreme Court--Appeal by special
leave--Question of jurisdiction of inferior court--Court not bound to decide
where there is no failure of justice--Review--Constitution of India, Art. 136.
Where at the hearing of an appeal filed by
special leave from a decision of the High Court in a Writ Petition filed there
under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India against an order of the Payment of
Wages Authority, the Court considered that there was some force in the
contention relating to the jurisdiction of the Authority concerned but did not
decide that question on the view that as there had been no failure of justice
the Court would not interfere under its powers under Art. 136, and the
appellant applied for a review of the judgment 15 114 Held, that wide as are
the powers of the Supreme Court under Art. 136 of the Constitution, its powers
are discretionary and though special leave had been granted the Court was not
bound to decide the question of jurisdiction of the inferior tribunal or court
where the decision of the inferior tribunal or court had been taken to a higher
tribunal which undoubtedly had jurisdiction and from the decision of which the
special leave was granted if on the facts and circumstances of the case it came
to the conclusion in dealing with the appeal under that Article that there was
no failure of justice.
A. M. Allison v. B. L. Sen,  S.C.R.
359, relied on.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Review Petition
No. 37 of 1959.
Petition for Review of this Court's judgment
and order dated October 29, 1959, in Civil Appeal No. 38 of 1958.
C. K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General of India,
B. Sen, J. B. Mehta and J. B. Dadachanji, for the petitioner.
N. C. Chatterjee and S. S. Shukla, for respondents.
J. B. Mehta and J. B. Dadachanji, for
interveners Nos. 1 to 13.
J. B. Dadachanji, for interveners Nos. 14 to
1960. August 3. The Judgment of the Court was
delivered by WANCHOO J.-This is an application for review of the judgment
delivered by this Court, to which three of us were party, on October 29, 1959.
The ground on which review is sought is that there are mistakes and/ or errors
apparent on the face of the record and therefore the judgment in question
should be reviewed. The petitioner contends further that the judgment under
review had dealt with the matter of issue of writs by High Courts under Art.
226 of the Constitution and this involved a question which could only have been
dealt by a bench of not less than five judges-and that is why the review
application has been placed before a bench of five judges. Lastly it is
contended that this Court should have decided the question of jurisdiction as
various. other parties had agreed to be governed by the decision in this case
and that would have saved multiplicity of proceedings.
115 Before we deal with the points urged in
support of the petition we should like to state what exactly has been decided
by the judgment under review. The appeal in which the judgment under review was
given came up before the Court on special leave granted under Art. 136 of the
Constitution from a decision of the Bombay High Court in a writ petition filed
there under Art. 226 against an order of the Payment of Wages Authority. The
question of jurisdiction of the Payment of Wages Authority was raised before
this Court and reliance in that connection was placed on the decision in A. V.
D'Costa v. B. C. Patel and another(1). It was remarked in the judgment under
review that there appeared to be some force in the contention relating to the
jurisdiction of the Payment of Wages Authority; but this Court did not go
further and decide that question on the view that as there had been no failure
of justice this Court would not interfere under its powers under Art. 136 of the
Constitution, particularly as the matter came before it from a decision of the
Bombay High Court and not directly from the Authority. In that connection
reference was made to the case of A. M. Allison v. B. L. Sen (2), in which in
similar circumstances this Court had refused to decide the question of
jurisdiction, because it was satisfied that there had been no failure of
justice. All that therefore the judgment under review decided was that where
this Court is of the view that there is no failure of justice it is not bound
to interfere under its powers under Art. 136 of the Constitution. Reference to
Allisons' Case (2) was made only to show that in almost similar circumstances
(except that Allison's Case came to this Court on a certificate granted under
Art. 133(1) (c) of the Constitution), this Court had refused to decide the
question of jurisdiction as there was no failure of justice. The judgment under
review did not deal with the powers of the High Court under Art. 226 of the
Constitution and nowhere laid down anything in conflict with the previous
decision of this Court in H. V. Kamath v. Syed Ahmad Ishaque and others(3).
(1)  1 S.C.R. 1353. (2)  S.C.R.
(3)  1 S.C.R. 1104.
116 Thus the narrow point decided by the
judgment under review was that when dealing with an appeal under Art. 136 of
the Constitution this Court comes to the conclusion %that there is no failure
of justice, it is not bound to decide and interfere even when a question of
jurisdiction of the original court or tribunal is raised in a case where the
matter had been considered by a higher tribunal, which undoubtedly had
jurisdiction, and the appeal to this Court is from the decision of the higher
This being the decision of this Court in the
judgment under review, let us see if there is any reason to review that
judgment on the grounds urged in the petition. Before we consider the main
ground in support of the review we should like to observe that the fact that
other parties had agreed to be governed by the decision in the judgment under
review can be no ground for review. Are there then such mistakes and/ or errors
apparent on the face of record which would justify a review? It is said that in
dealing with whether there has been failure of justice in this case, this Court
omitted to consider certain provisions of the Bombay Industrial Relations Act,
1946. Assuming this to be correct, the question still is whether even after a
consideration of those provisions the decision of this Court on the question of
failure of justice would have been different. On a further consideration of the
reasons given in the judgment under review for holding that there was no
failure of justice we feel that the decision on this point would have been
still the same even if the provisions referred to had been considered. In the
circumstances we are of opinion that there is no ground for review of the
judgment even if it be assumed that certain provisions of the Bombay Industrial
Relations Act, 1946, were relevant and had not been considered.
The main plank however of the petitioner is
that this Court was bound to consider the question of jurisdiction and the
question whether there was failure of justice or not was bound up with the
question of jurisdiction and a decision on that question was necessary to
arrive at the conclusion that there was no 117 failure of justice. This
contention also must in our opinion be rejected, specially in the context of
the narrow point which, as we have already indicated, was decided in the judgment
under review. Besides it is not unknown to law that decisions of original
courts and tribunals may be allowed to stand even though there may be some
doubt as to the jurisdiction of such courts or tribunals. There are provisions
in the revenue laws where in case of doubt whether the civil court or the
revenue court has jurisdiction the decision of the original court is allowed to
stand in certain circumstances if there has been no failure of justice : (see,
for example, ss. 290 and 291 of the U. P. Tenancy Act, 1939). Therefore when
the judgment under review left the question of jurisdiction open on the ground
that there was no failure of justice and in consequence this Court refused to
exercise its jurisdiction under Art. 136, it cannot be said that something was
done which was unknown to law. It is necessary to remember that wide as are our
powers under Art. 136, their exercise is discretionary; and if it is conceded,
as it was in the course of the arguments, that this Court could have dismissed
the appellant's application for special leave summarily on the ground that the
order under appeal had done substantial justice, it is difficult to appreciate
the argument that because leave has been granted this Court must always and in
every case deal with the merits even though it is satisfied that ends of
justice do not justify its interference in a given case. In the circumstances
we are of opinion that this Court was not bound to decide the question of
jurisdiction on the facts and circumstances of this case when it had come to
the conclusion in dealing with an appeal Under Art. 136 of the Constitution
that there was no failure of justice. The review application therefore fails
and is hereby dismissed with costs.
Review application dismissed.