High Court has no jurisdiction to allow the second appeal without framing a substantial question of law as provided under Section 100 of the Code.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL Nos. 3276­3281 OF 2019
(Arising out of S.L.P.(C) Nos.30383­30388 of 2011)
Chand Kaur (D) Thr.Lrs. ….Appellant(s)
VERSUS
Mehar Kaur (D) Thr.Lrs ….Respondent(s)

J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.

  1. Leave granted.
  2. These appeals are directed against the final
    judgment and order dated 23.03.2011 passed by
    the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh
    in RSA Nos. 2066, 2067, 2068, 2292 and 2294 of
    1987.
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  3. It is not necessary to set out the facts in detail
    for the disposal of these appeals for the reason that
    having heard the learned counsel for the parties and
    on perusal of the record of the case, we have formed
    an opinion to remand the case to the High Court for
    deciding the second appeals, out of which these
    appeals arise, for their fresh disposal on merits in
    accordance with law.
  4. The need to remand these cases to the High
    Court is called for because we find that the High
    Court though disposed of bunch of second appeals
    (RSA Nos.2066 to 2068 of 1987 and RSA 2292 to
    2294 of 1987) but it did so without framing any
    substantial question(s) of law as is required to be
    framed under Section 100 of the Code of Civil
    Procedure, 1908 (hereinafter referred to as “the
    Code”).
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  5. In our opinion, framing of substantial
    question(s) of law in the present appeals was
    mandatory because the High Court allowed the
    second appeals and interfered in the judgment of
    the First Appellate Court, which was impugned in
    the second appeals. It is clear from the last
    paragraph of the impugned order quoted
    hereinbelow:
    “However, I am unable to convince
    myself with the latter part of the judgment of
    the ld. lower appellate court wherein Chand
    Kaur was held to be entitled to ½ share of
    the property of Jaimal, by placing reliance on
    the judgment delivered in the previous
    litigation between Mehar Singh and Chand
    Kaur. Once the ld. lower Appellate Court
    arrived at a specific finding of fact that
    Chand Kaur was neither the daughter of
    Santo nor Santo is daughter of Cheta, thus,
    there was no basis for it to hold that Chand
    Kaur was entitled to hold half of the property
    of late Jaimal. By placing reliance on the
    previous judgment, the ld. Lower Appellate
    Court went against its own judgment and
    impliedly admitted that Santo was the
    daughter of Cheta. It is obvious that such a
    status of things cannot co­exist. By
    necessary implication, as a result of the
    finding arrived at by the ld. Lower Appellate
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    Court regarding Santo not being the daughter
    of Cheta, the entitlement of the property of
    late Jaimal falls on Mehar Singh and Mehar
    Kaur in equal shares.
    In view of above, RSA Nos.2066, 2067
    and 2068 of 1987 filed by Mehar Kaur
    succeed and RSA Nos.2292, 2293 and 2294 of
    1987 filed by Chand Kaur are dismissed. The
    findings of the ld. lower Appellate Court are
    modified to the extent that Mehar Singh and
    legal heirs of Mehar Kaur are held entitled to
    succeed to the entire property of late Jaimal
    Singh in equal shares and the legal heirs of
    Chand Kaur shall have no right to such
    property at all.”
  6. This Court has consistently held that the High
    Court has no jurisdiction to allow the second appeal
    without framing a substantial question of law as
    provided under Section 100 of the Code. In other
    words, the sine qua non for allowing the second
    appeal is to first frame the substantial question(s) of
    law arising in the case and then decide the second
    appeal by answering the question(s) framed.(See
    Surat Singh(Dead) vs. Siri Bhagwan & Ors., (2018)
    4
    4 SCC 562 and Vijay Arjun Bhagat & Ors. vs.
    Nana Laxman Tapkire & Ors., (2018) 6 SCC 727).
  7. Since in this case, we find that the High Court
    failed to frame any substantial question either at
    the time of admitting the appeal or before final
    hearing and yet proceeded to allow some of the
    second appeals in the bunch by modifying the
    judgment impugned therein, the High Court
    committed jurisdictional error requiring this Court
    to interfere.
  8. In view of the foregoing discussion, the appeals
    succeed and are accordingly allowed. The impugned
    order is set aside. All the second appeals, out of
    which these appeals arise, are restored to their
    original numbers before the High Court.
  9. The High Court will now first frame substantial
    question(s) which, according to the appellants of the
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    second appeals, arise in their respective second
    appeals.
  10. Since we have formed an opinion to remand
    the case in the light of what is held above, we have
    not expressed any opinion on the merits of the
    controversy.
  11. The High Court will accordingly decide the
    appeals on merits strictly in accordance with law
    uninfluenced by any observations made in the
    impugned order and also in this order. .………...................................J. [ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE] ……………………………………….J.
    [DINESH MAHESHWARI]
    New Delhi;
    March 28, 2019
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