Datta Shetti & Ors Vs. The State of Karnataka & Ors  Insc 74 (2 February 2005)
Pasayat & S.H. Kapadia
Out of S.L.P. (Civil) No. 14059 of 2003) ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
in this appeal is the judgment of a Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court
refusing to interfere with the order passed by learned Single Judge in view of
the fact that the Ankola Taluk Land Tribunal(in short the 'Tribunal') had
disposed of the matter pursuant to the direction given by learned Single Judge.
appellants had filed the writ appeal before the Division Bench of the Karnataka
High Court aggrieved primarily by that part of the order of learned Single
Judge who had remanded the matter to the Tribunal, with a specific direction to
grant occupancy rights in favour of the respondents, who were the petitioners
in the writ petition. The appeal was admitted but there was no order of stay
passed in the appeal either directing stay of further proceedings before the
Tribunal or staying operation of the order of learned Single Judge, as no
application had been filed for grant of any interim relief. In the absence of
any order of stay, pursuant to the directions given by learned Single Judge the
proceedings came to be heard by the Tribunal which hold that the respondents
were to be granted occupancy rights in line with the mandate given by learned
impugned judgment the High Court came to hold that though the learned Single
Judge had directed grant of occupancy rights and the Tribunal had followed the
directions, it was open to the present appellants to question the correctness
of the decision of the Tribunal before the learned Single Judge. Accordingly
the writ appeal was dismissed.
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the
Division Bench was not justified in holding that the order of the Tribunal
could be assailed before learned Single Judge. In view of the fact that learned
Single Judge had already directed that occupancy rights were to be conferred on
the respondents, no relief could be granted to the appellants. It is pointed
out that though the Tribunal was requested to keep the matter pending in view
of the fact that the Writ Appeal had been admitted, the Tribunal did not do so.
contra learned counsel appearing for the respondents supported the impugned
judgment and submitted that the view expressed by the High Court in the
impugned judgment does not suffer from any infirmity.
factual scenario noted above goes to show specific challenge in the writ appeal
was in respect of the direction given by learned Single Judge to grant
occupancy rights to the respondents. That was the basic issue which was to be
adjudicated by the Division Bench in the writ appeal. The basic issue, as noted
above was whether the direction given by learned Single Judge could be
maintained, when the matter was being remitted by learned Single Judge to the
Tribunal for fresh adjudication. In a given case there can be limited remand
and giving finality to an issue, may be permissible. In the present case the
High Court had admitted the writ appeal to examine legality of such direction.
Unfortunately, the Tribunal did not keep the proceedings pending though it was
brought to its notice that the Writ Appeal had been admitted. Appellants have
also contributed to the confusion to a great measure by not seeking stay of
direction. In given cases the Court/Forum to which the matter is remitted can
await decision in the appeal where the directions given are impugned. A copy of
the order passed by the Tribunal pursuant to the direction given by learned
Single Judge has been placed on record. It clearly shows that the Tribunal
acted only on the basis of the direction given and on that ground alone granted
High Court was not justified in holding that the writ appeal had been rendered infructuous
because of the subsequent decision of the Tribunal. Correctness of the order
passed by learned Single Judge was being challenged in the writ appeal. Any
decision taken by the Tribunal has to be per force subject to the decision in
the writ appeal. Therefore, the Division Bench should have considered the
matter on merits without concluding that the writ appeal had become infructuous.
peculiar circumstances we remit the matter to the High Court for fresh
consideration. Writ Appeal No. 8208/1999 shall be restored to file and shall be
dealt with in accordance with law. As the matter is pending since long, High
Court is requested to explore the possibility of early disposal of the Writ
Appeal. We make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits
of the case.
appeal is accordingly disposed of without any order as to costs.