L. Chandra Kumar vs. Union of India & others, reported in (1997) 3 SCC 261
and therefore abridgement by a Constitutional amendment is also very doubtful.
(j) It may be true that a statutory amendment of a rather cognate provision, like Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code by the Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Act, 1999 does not and cannot cut down the ambit of High Court’s power under Article
227. At the same time, it must be remembered that such statutory amendment does not correspondingly expand the High Court’s jurisdiction of superintendence under Article 227.
(k) The power is discretionary and has to be exercised on equitable principle. In an appropriate case, the power can be exercised suo motu.
(l) On a proper appreciation of the wide and unfettered power of the High Court under Article 227, it transpires that the main object of this Article is to keep strict administrative and judicial control by the High Court on the administration of justice within its territory.
(m) The object of superintendence, both administrative and judicial, is to maintain efficiency, smooth and orderly functioning of the entire machinery of justice in such a way as it does not bring it into any disrepute. The power of interference under this Article is to be kept to the minimum to ensure that the wheel of justice does not come to a halt and the fountain of justice remains pure and unpolluted in order to maintain public confidence in the functioning of the tribunals and Courts subordinate to High Court.
(n) This reserve and exceptional power of judicial intervention is not to be exercised just for grant of relief in individual cases but should be directed for promotion of public confidence in the administration of justice in the larger public interest whereas Article 226 is meant for protection of individual grievance. Therefore, the power under Article 227 may be unfettered but its exercise is subject to high degree of judicial discipline pointed out above.
(o) An improper and a frequent exercise of this power will be counter-productive and will divest this extraordinary power of its strength and vitality.
66. We may also observe that in some High Courts there is tendency of entertaining petitions under Article 227 of the Constitution by terming them as writ petitions. This is sought to be justified on an erroneous appreciation of the ratio in Surya Dev (supra) and in view of the recent amendment to Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code by Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Act, 1999. It is urged that as a result of the amendment, scope of Section 115 of CPC has been curtailed. In our view, even if the scope of Section 115 CPC is curtailed that has not resulted in expanding High Court’s power of superintendence. It is too well known to be reiterated that in exercising its jurisdiction, High Court must follow the regime of law.
67. As a result of frequent interference by Hon’ble High Court either under Article 226 or 227 of the Constitution with pending civil and at times criminal cases, the disposal of cases by the civil and criminal courts gets further impeded and thus causing serious problems in the administration of justice. This Court hopes and trusts that in exercising its power either underArticle 226 or 227, Hon’ble High Court will follow the time honoured principles discussed above. Those principles have been formulated by this Court for ends of justice and the High Courts as the highest Courts of justice within their jurisdiction will adhere to them strictly.
7. Again in Radhey Shyam v. Chhabi Nath with
Jagdish Prasad v. Iqbal Kaur as reported in AIR 2015 SC 3269
the aforesaid issue has been subject to reconsideration before three judges Bench and after thoroughly examining all the previous judicial pronouncements, it has been concluded under para-25
25. Accordingly, we answer the question referred as follows :
“(i) Judicial orders of civil court are not amenable to writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution;
(ii) Jurisdiction under Article 227 is distinct from jurisdiction from jurisdiction under Article 226.
Contrary view in Surya Dev Rai is overruled.”
8. The aforesaid view has again been reiterated in
Sh. Jogendrasinhji Vijaysinghji v. State of Gujarat as reported in AIR 2015 SC 3623
wherein it has been held:-
16. The aforesaid authoritative pronouncement makes it clear as day that an order passed by a civil court can only be assailed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and the parameters of challenge have been clearly laid down by this Court in series of decisions which have been referred to by a three- Judge Bench in Radhey Shyam (supra), which is a binding precedent. Needless to emphasise that once it is exclusively assailable under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, no intra-court appeal is maintainable.
25. From the aforesaid pronouncements, it is graphically clear that maintainability of a letters patent appeal would depend upon the pleadings in the writ petition, the nature and character of the order passed by the learned Single Judge, the type of directions issued regard being had to the jurisdictional perspectives in the constitutional context. Barring the civil court, from which order as held by the three- Judge Bench in Radhey Shyam (supra) that a writ petition can lie only under Article 227 of the Constitution, orders from tribunals cannot always be regarded for all purposes to be under Article 227 of the Constitution. Whether the learned Single Judge has exercised the jurisdiction under Article 226 or under Article 227 or both, needless to emphasise, would depend upon various aspects that have been emphasised in the aforestated authorities of this Court. There can be orders passed by the learned Single Judge which can be construed as an order under both the articles in a composite manner, for they can co-exist, coincide and imbricate. We reiterate it would depend upon the nature, contour and character of the order and it will be the obligation of the Division Bench hearing the letters patent appeal to discern and decide whether the order has been passed by the learned Single Judge in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 or 227 of the Constitution or both. The Division Bench would also be required to scrutinize whether the facts of the case justify the assertions made in the petition to invoke the jurisdiction under both the articles and the relief prayed on that foundation. Be it stated, one of the conclusions recorded by the High Court in the impugned judgment pertains to demand and payment of court fees. We do not intend to comment on the same as that would depend upon the rules framed by the High Court.
36. In view of the aforesaid analysis, we proceed to summarise our conclusions as follows:-
(A) Whether a letters patent appeal would lie against the order passed by the learned Single Judge that has travelled to him from the other tribunals or authorities, would depend upon many a facet. The Court fee payable on a petition to make it underArticle 226 or Article 227 or both, would depend upon the rules framed by the High Court.
(B) The order passed by the civil court is only amenable to be scrutinized by the High Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India which is different from Article 226 of the Constitution and as per the pronouncement in Radhey Shyam (supra), no writ can be issued against the order passed by the civil court and, therefore, no letters patent appeal would be maintainable.
(C) The writ petition can be held to be not maintainable if a tribunal or authority that is required to defend the impugned order has not been arrayed as a party, as it is a necessary party.
(D) Tribunal being or not being party in a writ petition is not determinative of the maintainability of a letters patent appeal.
9. Thus, from the aforesaid the analogy, it is evident that there happens to be distinct parameters prescribed for Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India whereupon both the two have got different identity commanding distinct sphere and in likewise manner, though usually taken up but are independent to each other in majority of the event. However, it is made clear whenever an order passed by the civil court is brought under challenge, it is article 227 of the Constitution which comes into play.
10. Proceeding ahead, when the power of superintendence in terms of Article 227 of the Constitution of India is taken up, it is apparent that the Court on its own, that means to say, could exercise its power suo motu as well as could also entertain a petition on that very score at the end of an aggrieved. The same has properly been dealt with in the case of