Arti Bhargava & ANR.
Vs. Madhur Bhargava & Ors.
O R D E R
respondents filed a suit against the appellants in the year 2000 for recovery
of possession of the suit premises and mesne profits. The said suit was decreed
on 23.8.2003 in so far as the prayer for possession. The prayer for mesne
profits was rejected.
appeals were filed against the said judgment and decree. RFA No.732/2003 was filed
by the respondents. RFA No.855/2003 was filed by the appellants. RFA Nos.
878/2003 and 912/2003 were filed by the tenants of the suit premises.
High Court Rules (as they earlier stood before the amendment by notification dated
23.12.2008) 2provided that Regular first appeals should be heard by a division bench
of two Judges. In view of it, the appeals filed by the appellants and
respondents were heard in part by a division bench, prior to 23.12.2008. The
hearing of the other two appeals was not commenced.
Delhi High Court Rules were amended by notification dated 23.12.2008 and it was
provided that all regular first appeals, irrespective of the value of the subject
matter, will be heard by a single Judge. The amendment to the Rules, however, made
it clear that the amended rules shall apply to pending appeals other than those
in which regular hearing has actually commenced before the coming into force of
the amendment to the Rules.
the appeals came up before the Division Bench of the High Court on 30.1.2009, the
division bench noted that all four appeals were interconnected, arising out of
the same suit. The division bench directed that RFA Nos.878/2003 and 912/2003 in
which hearing had not commenced, to be listed before a single Judge. As RFA
Nos. 732/2003 and 855/2003 had been substantially heard, they were retained on the
file of the division bench for completing the hearing and disposal.
20.3.2009, the Division Bench, however, directed that RFAs Nos.732/2003 and 855/2003
should be 3released from `part heard' category and placed before a learned
single Judge, on the ground that notes of arguments of the Division Bench were misplaced
and the matters will have to be heard afresh.
the matters thereafter came up before the learned single Judge, the appellants filed
an application that the appeals will have to be heard by Division Bench. The learned
single Judge on 5.5.2010, rejected the application on the ground that remedy of
the appellants lied elsewhere. Thereafter, the appellants have filed this appeal
by special leave, challenging the orders dated 30.1.2009 and 20.3.2009.
amended rules make it clear that the rules as amended will apply only to
appeals where hearing has not commenced. The amended Rules also provide that appeals
where hearing has already commenced, will be governed by the rules that were in
force before the amendment. In other words, if the appeals have been heard in part
before 23.12.2008, hearing of such appeals will have to be completed and
decided by the division bench.
fact that the division bench has lost its notes of arguments is not a ground
for relegating the parties for hearing of the appeals before a learned single Judge
as that would be contrary to rules. What is material is the 4hearing in part by
the division bench and not the notes. Therefore RFAs. 732 and 855 of 2003 will
have to be heard by the division bench.
as RFA Nos.878 and 912 of 2003 are concerned, even though the hearing in these
appeals had not commenced, as they are also against the same judgment dated 23.8.2003,
interest of justice would require that they should also be heard alongwith RFA Nos.732
and 855/2003 and decided by a common judgment, to avoid divergent and
therefore, allow these appeals, set aside the order of the Division Bench dated
20.3.2009 as also that part of the order dated 30.1.2009 directing that RFA
No.878 and 912/2003 be heard by a single Judge. We request the Division Bench to
hear the four appeals together and dispose them expeditiously.
( R.V. RAVEENDRAN )
( A.K. PATNAIK )