Duty Of Courts To Correct Decree Obtained By Concealment Of Material Facts, Leave To Appeal May Be Filed At Any Stage: Rajasthan High Court

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

The Rajasthan High Court has reiterated that no litigant can obtain a favourable decree from a court based on incorrect or false facts. Since fraud unravels everything, the concerned court must correct the mistake in facts if brought to its notice, it added.

The single judge bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand also held that if the respondents claim to be the grandchildren of one of the co-sharers of the land, then the veracity of such assertions shall be decided by the trial court.

“… The basic idea is that no polluted hand shall touch the pure fountain of justice… If it is the case of the respondents that the deceased khatedar – Fakira did not die issueless, then the trial Court is supposed to decide the material aspects whether he died issueless or not after recording the evidence of both sides”, the bench sitting at Jaipur noted in the order after denoting the legal maxim Actus Legis Nemeniest Damnosus' which roughly translates to 'an act of law shall prejudice no man'.

Any favourable judgment obtained from a court of law by misrepresentation or suppression of material facts amounts to playing fraud with the court, the judge added. The aggrieved person can challenge any such judgment or decree by way of filing an application seeking leave to appeal, the court further added. To reinforce the above propositions, the court primarily relied on the apex court decision in Dalip Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors, (2010) wherein the 'new creed of litigants' with 'no respect for truth' was criticised by Justices Ashok Kumar Ganguly and G.S. Singhvi.

“It can safely be held that if any decree is passed on the basis of incorrect facts, the same can be challenged by the person aggrieved before the appellate Court by way of filing appeal under Section 96 CPC if his right, title and interest is involved in the same”, the court held

Initially, the petitioners had obtained a favourable decree from the Assistant Collector, Behror in a suit for declaration, injunction and correction of entries in revenue records. After the said decree dated 28.11.2005, the respondents in this case who were not party to the original suit filed a similar suit which was dismissed on 07.02.2018 for want of prosecution. Even though the suit preferred by the respondents got dismissed on default, they did not prefer a further application for the restoration of the said suit under Order 9 Rule 9 CPC.

According to the respondents in this civil writ petition, the petitioners procured a favourable order by misrepresenting that one of the Khatedars died issueless whereas the respondents were the grandchildren of the said Khatedar who was a co-sharer. Hence, they preferred an appeal against the decree dated 28.11.2005 before the Revenue Appellate Authority under Section 96 of CPC along with an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act to condone delay. RAA admitted the appeal as well as  allowed the delay condonation application on 11.10.2021.

Though the petitioners filed revision petitions before the Board of Revenue against the order dated 11.10.2021, these were rejected on 28.10.2022. Thereafter, a civil writ petition before the High Court was preferred against the orders of the Revenue Appellate Authority and Board of Revenue.

It is pertinent to note here that the State of Rajasthan had already preferred a separate appeal against the order dated 28.11.2005 in which the respondents in the current writ were impleaded as respondents. Commenting on that aspect, the court noted as below:

“Since, the respondents have already been impleaded as party respondents in the appeal, filed by the State against the said judgment and decree and that said order of their impleadment has not been challenged by the petitioners before any forum of law. In view of above, no rights of the petitioner would be prejudiced if the respondents are allowed to contest, against the same decree before the RAA.”

Case Title: Ajeet Singh & Ors. v. Smt. Kailash Kanwar & Ors and connected matters (2024 Raj HC)