Lakshmaiah & Ors Vs. Sri Anjaneya Swami Temple & Ors  INSC 295 (20 February 1996)
M.M.Punchhi, M.M.Sen, S.C. (J)
1996 SCC (3) 52 JT 1996 (3) 198 1996 SCALE (2)409
O R D
to 29 acres of agricultural land, its possession and recovery of mense profits,
was sought by the respondent- temple from the appellants. The trial court
dismissed the suit. A learned Single Judge of the High Court, in appeal, in
re-appraising the evidence adduced, prominently paid attention to two documents
containing certain recitals, which partly supported the case of the
plaintiff-temple respondent and partly that of the defendants-appellants.
them together, the learned Single Judge aimed to reconcile the entries instead
of holding them as inconsistent. He made an attempt to gather the predominant
intention of the concerned authorities while preparing those documents, by
looking at both of them integrally. The dispute plainly was whether the grant
made in favour of the Archaka was meant to be conferred on him personally or on
the temple through the Archaka. The trial court, as also the learned Single
Judge held that the grant was personal to the Archaka and thus the alienations
made by him thereafter were in order. The result thereof was that the decision
of the trial court dismissing the suit was upheld by the learned Single Judge.
Further bout fought by the temple-respondent before the Letters Patent Bench of
the High Court bore results inasmuch as the Bench, on fresh reconciliation of
those two documents, bearing in mind the other surrounding circumstances, came
to the view that the grant was intended to be in favour of the temple and not
to the Archaka personally.
Ram Kumar, learned counsel for the appellants, inter alia contends that the
Letters Patent Bench of the High Court could not have upset a finding of fact
recorded by a learned Single Judge on fresh reconciliation of the two
documents, arriving at different results than those arrived at earlier by the
two courts aforementioned. Though the argument sounds attractive, it does not
the orders of the trial court, first appeal lay before the High Court, both on
facts as well as law. It is the internal working of the High Court which splits
it into different 'Benches' and yet the court remains one. A Letters Patent
Appeal, as permitted under the Letters Patent, is normally an intra-court
appeal whereunder the Letters Patent Bench, sitting as a Court of Correction. corrects
its own orders in exercise of the same jurisdiction as was vested in the Single
Bench. Such is not an appeal against an order of a subordinate Court. In such
appellate jurisdiction the High Court exercises the powers of a Court of Error.
So understood, the appellate power under the Letters Patent is quite distinct,
in contrast to what is ordinarily understood in procedural language. That apart
the construction of the aforementioned two documents involved, in the very
nature of their import, a mixed question of law and fact, well within the
posers of the Letters Patent Bench to decide. The Bench was not powerless in
therefore of the view that the Letters Patent Bench committed no error in
re-doing the exercise to reconcile those two questioned documents so as to get
to the result in favour of the temple-respondent. Except for the point afore
dealt with. no other point has been raised by learned counsel.
the foregoing reasons, this appeal fails and is hereby dismissed. No costs.