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Saturday, September 6, 2014

REVISION COURT POWERS - Sec.15 (6) Rent control Act - Powers of High court as Revision court - in Rukmini1 it is held that the revisional Court is not entitled to re-appreciate evidence. - in Ram Dass2 wherein it has been held that the expression “legality and propriety” enables the revisional Court to reappraise the evidence while considering the findings of the first appellate Court. - referred to 5 bench judges - Apex court held that confirm the judgement of Rukmini case and held that High court in it's revisional jurisdiction can not sit as appellant authority and re assess the evidence and on the other hand the apex court explained that as per the judgment of Ram Dass as being Revision court , High court can interfere in the lower court judgement when the order impugned before it suffers from procedural illegality or irregularity. = CIVIL APPEAL NO.6177 OF 2004 Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. … Appellant Versus Dilbahar Singh … Respondent = 2014 -Aug.Part - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41852

   Sec.15 (6) Rent control Act - Powers of High court as Revision court -  in Rukmini1 it is held that the revisional Court is not  entitled  to  re-appreciate evidence. - in Ram Dass2  wherein  it  has  been  held  that  the expression  “legality  and  propriety”  enables  the  revisional  Court   to reappraise  the  evidence  while  considering  the  findings  of  the  first appellate Court. - referred to 5 bench judges - Apex court held that  confirm the judgement of Rukmini case and held that High court in it's revisional jurisdiction can not sit as appellant authority and re assess the evidence and on the other hand the apex court explained that  as per the judgment of Ram Dass as being Revision court , High court can interfere in the lower court judgement when the  order impugned before it suffers from procedural illegality or irregularity. =

 whether the High  Court  (as
revisional authority) under Section 15(6) could interfere with the  findings
of fact  of  the  first  appellate  Court/first  appellate  authority. =
The
appellant relied upon the decision of this Court in Rukmini1 in  support  of
its contention that the revisional Court is not  entitled  to  re-appreciate
evidence. 
On the  other  hand,  the  respondent  pressed  into  service  the
decision of this Court in Ram Dass2  wherein  it  has  been  held  that  the
expression  “legality  and  propriety”  enables  the  revisional  Court   to
reappraise  the  evidence  while  considering  the  findings  of  the  first
appellate Court. 
The 2-Judge Bench felt that there was conflict in  the  two
decisions and has been referred to the 5-Judge Bench to resolve the conflict into the  two
3-Judge Bench decisions one, Rukmini [1] and the other,  Ram  Dass[2].   Ram
Dass2 has followed Moti Ram[3].=

We hold, as we must, that none of the above  Rent  Control  Acts
entitles the High Court to interfere with the findings of fact  recorded  by
the  First  Appellate  Court/First  Appellate  Authority  because   on   re-
appreciation  of  the   evidence,   its   view   is   different   from   the
Court/Authority below.
The consideration or examination of the evidence  by
the High Court in revisional jurisdiction under these Acts  is  confined  to
find out that finding of facts recorded  by  the  Court/Authority  below  is
according to law and does not suffer from any error of  law.
A  finding  of
fact recorded by Court/Authority below, if perverse or has been  arrived  at
without consideration of the material evidence or such  finding   is   based
on no evidence or  misreading  of  the  evidence  or  is  grossly  erroneous
that, if allowed to stand, it would result in gross miscarriage of  justice,
is open to correction because it is not treated as a  finding  according  to
law.   In  that  event,  the  High  Court  in  exercise  of  its  revisional
jurisdiction under the above Rent Control Acts  shall  be  entitled  to  set
aside the impugned order as being not legal or proper.
The  High  Court  is
entitled to satisfy itself the correctness or legality or propriety  of  any
decision or order impugned  before  it  as  indicated  above.  
However,  to
satisfy itself to the regularity, correctness, legality or propriety of  the
impugned decision or the order, the High Court shall not exercise its  power
as an appellate power to re-appreciate or re-assess the evidence for  coming
to a different finding on facts.  Revisional power  is  not  and  cannot  be
equated with the power of reconsideration of all  questions  of  fact  as  a
court of first appeal.
Where the High Court is  required  to  be  satisfied
that the decision is according to law, it  may  examine  whether  the  order
impugned before it suffers from procedural illegality or irregularity.
46.         We, thus, approve the view of this Court in Rukmini1   as  noted
by us.  The decision of this Court in Ram Dass2 must be  read  as  explained
above.  The reference is answered accordingly.
47.         Civil Appeals and Special Leave Petitions shall  now  be  posted
before the regular Benches for decision in light of the above.

  2014 -Aug.Part - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41852
                                                            REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.6177 OF 2004


Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.                 … Appellant


                                   Versus

Dilbahar Singh                                       … Respondent

                                    WITH


                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.2162 OF 2004

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.2901 OF 2006

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.6954 OF 2005

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.7520 OF 2005

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.5212 OF 2006

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.2859 OF 2006

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.3313 OF 2007

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.1224 OF 2006

                          SLP (C) NO.34303 of 2009

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.7491 OF 2004

                          SLP (C) No.11931 of 2011

                          SLP (C) No.22248 OF 2007

                        CIVIL  APPEAL NO.7066 OF 2005


                                  JUDGMENT


R.M. LODHA, CJI.


            This group of eleven appeals and three special  leave  petitions
has been referred to the 5-Judge Bench to resolve the conflict into the  two
3-Judge Bench decisions one, Rukmini [1] and the other,  Ram  Dass[2].   Ram
Dass2 has followed Moti Ram[3].  At the time  of  hearing  of  Civil  Appeal
No.6177 of 2004, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation  Ltd.  v.  Dilbahar  Singh,
the 2-Judge Bench, while dealing with the meaning, ambit and  scope  of  the
words “legality and propriety” under Section  15(6)  of  the  Haryana  Urban
(Control of Rent &  Eviction)  Act,  1973  (for  short,  ‘the  Haryana  Rent
Control Act’), was confronted with the question whether the High  Court  (as
revisional authority) under Section 15(6) could interfere with the  findings
of fact  of  the  first  appellate  Court/first  appellate  authority.   The
appellant relied upon the decision of this Court in Rukmini1 in  support  of
its contention that the revisional Court is not  entitled  to  re-appreciate
evidence. On the  other  hand,  the  respondent  pressed  into  service  the
decision of this Court in Ram Dass2  wherein  it  has  been  held  that  the
expression  “legality  and  propriety”  enables  the  revisional  Court   to
reappraise  the  evidence  while  considering  the  findings  of  the  first
appellate Court. The 2-Judge Bench felt that there was conflict in  the  two
decisions and for its resolution referred the matter to  the  larger  Bench.
In the Reference Order (dated August 27, 2009), the 2-Judge Bench  observed,
thus:
      “Learned counsel for the appellant has  placed  reliance  on  a  three
Judge Bench decision of this Court in the case  of  Rukmini  Amma  Saradamma
Vs. Kallyani Sulochana And Others (1993) 1 SCC 499  wherein    Section    20
  of    the   Kerala   Rent   Control      Act   was     in  question.    It
was held in the said decision  that  though  Section  20  of  the  said  Act
provided that the revisional  court  can  go  into  the    'propriety'    of
the    order   but   it   does    not    entitle      the  revisional  court
to re-appreciate evidence. A similar view was taken by a two Judge bench  of
this Court in the case of Ubaiba Vs. Damodaran (1999) 5 SCC, 645.

           On the other hand learned counsel for the respondent  has  relied
upon a decision of this Court in the case of Ram  Dass  Vs.  Ishwar  Chander
and Others AIR 1988 SC 1422 which was also a three Judge Bench decision.  It
has been held in that case that  the  expression  "legality  and  propriety"
enables the High Court in revisional     jurisdiction     to     re-appraise
   the      evidence      while  considering  the  findings  of  the   first
appellate Court. A similar view was taken by another three  Judge  Bench  of
this Court in the case of Moti Ram Vs. Suraj Bhan and  others  AIR  1960  SC
655.

           From the above it is clear that there are  conflicting  views  of
coordinate three Judge Benches of this  Court  as  to  the  meaning,   ambit
and    scope     of    the    expression     'legality  and  propriety'  and
whether in revisional jurisdiction the  High  Court  can  re-appreciate  the
evidence.  Hence, we are of the view that the matter needs to be  considered
by a larger bench since this question arises in a large number of  cases  as
similar provisions conferring power  of  revision  exists  in  various  rent
control and other legislations, e.g. Section 397 of  the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure.     Accordingly, we direct  that  the  papers  be  placed  before
Hon'ble The Chief Justice for constituting a larger Bench.”

2.          There are other appeals/SLPs in this group of matters,  some  of
which arise from the Kerala Buildings (Lease and  Rent  Control)  Act,  1965
(for short, ‘the Kerala Rent Control Act’) and the  few  appeals/SLPs  arise
from the Tamil Nadu Buildings  (Lease  and  Rent  Control)  Act,  1960  (for
short, ‘the Tamil Nadu Rent Control  Act’).   These  appeals/SLPs  following
the Reference Order  in  Hindustan  Petroleum  Corporation  have  also  been
referred to the 5-Judge Bench.  This is  how  these  matters  have  come  up
before us.
3.          It is appropriate  to  first  notice  the  statutory  provisions
pertaining to revisional jurisdiction of the  High  Court  under  the  above
three Rent Control Acts.  These provisions are not similar  to  Section  115
of the Code of Civil Procedure which confers  revisional  jurisdiction  upon
the High Court in the matters arising from the Courts governed by the  Code.


4.          Section  15  of  the  Haryana  Rent  Control  Act  provides  for
appellate and revisional authorities.  This provision in  the  Haryana  Rent
Control Act reads as under:
“15. Appellate and revisional authorities.—(1) The State Government may,  by
a general or special order, by notification, confer  on  such  officers  and
authorities as it may think fit, the powers  of  appellate  authorities  for
the purposes of this Act, in such area or in such classes of  cases  as  may
be specified in the order.

(2)   Any person aggrieved by an order passed by the Controller may,  within
thirty days from the date of  such  order  or  such  longer  period  as  the
appellate authority may allow for reasons to be recorded in writing,  prefer
an appeal in writing to the  appellate  authority  having  jurisdiction.  In
computing the period of thirty days the time taken  to  obtain  a  certified
copy of the order appealed against shall be excluded.

(3)   On such appeal being preferred,  the  appellate  authority  may  order
stay of further proceedings in the matter pending decision on the appeal.

(4)   The appellate authority shall decide the appeal after sending for  the
records of the case from the Controller and  after  giving  the  parties  an
opportunity of being heard and, if  necessary,  after  making  such  further
inquiry as it thinks fit either personally or through the Controller.

(5)    The  decisions  of  the  appellate  authority  and  subject  to  such
decision, the order of the Controller  shall  be  final  and  shall  not  be
liable to be called in question in any court of law except  as  provided  in
sub-section (6) of this section.

(6)   The High Court as revisional authority, may at any time,  on  its  own
motion or on the application of any aggrieved party, made  within  a  period
of ninety days, call for and  examine  the  record  relating  to  any  order
passed or proceedings taken under this Act for  the  purpose  of  satisfying
itself as to the legality or propriety of such order or proceedings and  may
pass such order in relation thereto as it may deem  fit.  In  computing  the
period of ninety days the time taken to  obtain  a  certified  copy  of  the
order shall be excluded.”

5.          In the Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act, Section 23  and  Section  25
provide for appeal and revision, respectively.  Since we are concerned  with
the scope of  revisional  power,  it  is  not  necessary  to  reproduce  the
appellate provision.  Section 25, which deals with revisional  power,  reads
as under:
“25. Revision.—(1) The High Court may, on  the  application  of  any  person
aggrieved by an order of the Appellate Authority, call for and  examine  the
record of the Appellate Authority, to satisfy itself as  to  the  regularity
of such  proceeding  or  the  correctness,  legality  or  propriety  of  any
decision or order passed therein and if, in any  case,  it  appears  to  the
High Court that any such decision or order  should  be  modified,  annulled,
reversed or remitted for reconsideration, it may pass orders accordingly.

(2)   Every application to the High Court for  the  exercise  of  its  power
under sub-section (1) shall be preferred within one month from the  date  on
which  the  order  or  proceeding  to  which  the  application  relates   is
communicated to the applicant:

      Provided that the High Court may, in  its  discretion,  allow  further
time not exceeding one month for the filing of any such application,  if  it
is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient cause for not preferring  the
application within the time specified in this sub-section.”

6.          The provision  for  appeal  is  contained  in  the  Kerala  Rent
Control Act in Section 18 while Section  20  of  that  Act  deals  with  the
revisional jurisdiction. Section 20 of the Kerala Rent Control Act reads  as
under:
“20.  (1) In cases where the appellate authority empowered under section  18
is a Subordinate judge, the District Court, and  in  other  cases  the  High
Court, may, at any time, on the    application of any aggrieved party,  call
for and examine the records relating to  any  order  passed  or  proceedings
taken under this Act by such authority for the purpose of satisfying  itself
as to the legality, regularity or propriety of such  order  or  proceedings,
and may pass such order in reference thereto as it thinks fit.

(2)   The costs of and incident to all proceedings before the High Court  or
District Court under sub-section (1) shall be in its discretion.“

7.          A careful reading of the text  of  the  above  three  provisions
will show that under Section 15(6) of the  Haryana  Rent  Control  Act,  the
High Court as revisional authority, may suo motu or on  the  application  of
an aggrieved party, call for and examine the record relating  to  any  order
passed or proceedings taken under the Act  for  the  purpose  of  satisfying
itself as to the legality or propriety of such order or proceedings and  may
pass such order as it may  deem  fit.   The  Tamil  Nadu  Rent  Control  Act
provides that the High Court on the application of an aggrieved  person  may
call for and examine the  record  of  the  appellate  authority  to  satisfy
itself as  to  the  regularity  of  such  proceedings  or  the  correctness,
legality or propriety of any decision or order  passed  therein.   The  High
Court in exercise of its revisional power may modify, annul or  reverse  the
order  or  decision  impugned  before  it  or  remit  the  matter  for   re-
consideration.  In the Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act, the High  Court  has  no
power to act suo motu. The Kerala Rent Control Act provides  that  the  High
Court on the application of an aggrieved party may call for and examine  the
record relating to any order passed or proceedings taken under the  Act  for
the  purpose  of  satisfying  itself  as  to  the  legality,  regularity  or
propriety of such order or proceedings and pass  any  order  that  it  deems
fit.  Like the Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act,  the  Kerala  Rent  Control  Act
also does not empower the High Court to act suo motu. Though, there is  some
difference in the language of the revisional provision in  the  above  three
statutes but, in our opinion, the revisional power of the High  Court  under
the above Rent Control Acts is substantially similar and  not  significantly
different.
8.          Before we embark upon an inquiry  to  find  out  the  ambit  and
scope of the revisional power of the High Court  under  these  Rent  Control
Acts, we may quickly observe that in  this  reference,  we  have  to  really
determine the extent, scope, ambit and meaning of  the  terms  “legality  or
propriety”, “regularity, correctness, legality or propriety” and  “legality,
regularity or propriety”. Obviously, this will determine the extent  of  the
revisional jurisdiction of the High Court under the respective Rent  Control
statutes and will also include the consideration  of  the  question  whether
the High Court in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction can  re-appreciate
the evidence in order to find out the correctness, legality or propriety  of
the impugned order or decision.
9.          The scope of revisional jurisdiction under various Rent  Control
Acts has fallen for consideration in many cases before this Court.   One  of
the earlier decisions in the long line of such cases is Moti Ram3.   The  3-
Judge Bench of this Court in Moti Ram3  had  an  occasion  to  consider  the
extent of revisional power of the High Court  under  Section  15(5)  of  the
East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 (3 of 1949) which reads:  “…The
High Court may, at any time, on the application of any  aggrieved  party  or
on its own motion, call for and examine the records relating  to  any  order
passed or proceedings taken under this Act for  the  purpose  of  satisfying
itself as to the legality or propriety of such order or proceedings and  may
pass such order in relation thereto as it may deem fit.”  Having  regard  to
this provision, the Court noted the revisional power of the  High  Court  in
the following words:
 “…the revisional power conferred upon the High Court  under  Section  15(5)
is wider than that conferred by Section 115 of the Code of Civil  Procedure.
Under Section 15(5) the High Court has jurisdiction to examine the  legality
or propriety of the order under revision and that would clearly justify  the
examination of the propriety or the legality of  the  finding  made  by  the
authorities...”

10.         Before we refer to the other cases of this Court, we  feel  that
the weighty observations made by the 2-Judge Bench in Dattonpant[4]  may  be
noted.  The Court while dealing  with  findings  of  fact  recorded  by  the
appellate court under the Mysore Rent Control Act, 1961 referred to  Section
50 of that Act which conferred upon the High  Court  revisional  power.  The
Court observed:
            “It is true that the power conferred on  the  High  Court  under
Section 50 is not as narrow as the revisional power of the High Court  under
Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.  But at the same time it is  not
wide enough to make the High Court a second court of first appeal.”

                                                   (emphasis supplied by us)
11.         In Sri Raja Lakshmi Dyeing Works[5], the 2-Judge Bench  of  this
Court while considering the scope of Section 25 of Tamil Nadu  Rent  Control
Act followed Dattonpant4 and while doing so, the Court also articulated  the
distinction between “appellate jurisdiction” and “revisional  jurisdiction”.
 In paragraph 2 (page 261 of the Report), the Court stated as follows:
“2. ‘Appeal’ and ‘revision’  are  expressions  of  common  usage  in  Indian
statute  and  the   distinction   between   ‘appellate   jurisdiction’   and
‘revisional  jurisdiction’  is  well  known   though   not   well   defined.
Ordinarily, appellate jurisdiction involves a rehearing, as it were, on  law
as well as fact and is invoked by an  aggrieved  person.  Such  jurisdiction
may, however, be limited in some way as, for instance has been done  in  the
case of second appeal under the Code of  Civil  Procedure,  and  under  some
Rent Acts in some States.  Ordinarily,  again,  revisional  jurisdiction  is
analogous to a power of superintendence and may sometimes be exercised  even
without its being invoked by a party. The extent of revisional  jurisdiction
is defined by the statute conferring such jurisdiction.  The  conferment  of
revisional jurisdiction is generally for the purpose  of  keeping  tribunals
subordinate to the revising Tribunal within the bounds  of  their  authority
to make them act according to law, according to  the  procedure  established
by law and according to  well  defined  principles  of  justice.  Revisional
jurisdiction as ordinarily understood with  reference  to  our  statutes  is
always included in appellate jurisdiction but  not  vice  versa.  These  are
general observations. The question of the extent of appellate or  revisional
jurisdiction has to be  considered  in  each  case  with  reference  to  the
language employed by the statute.”

While dealing with revisional power under Section 25 of the Tamil Nadu  Rent
Control Act, the Court said in paragraph 3  (page  262  of  the  Report)  as
under:
      “The language of Section 25 is indeed very wide. But  we  must  attach
some significance to the circumstance that  both  the  expressions  ‘appeal’
and ‘revision’ are employed in the statute. Quite obviously, the  expression
‘revision’ is meant to convey the idea of a much narrower jurisdiction  than
that conveyed by the expression ‘appeal’. In fact it has to be noticed  that
under Section 25 the High Court calls for and examines  the  record  of  the
appellate authority in order to satisfy itself. The dominant  idea  conveyed
by the incorporation of the words  ‘to  satisfy  itself’  under  Section  25
appears to be that the power conferred on the High Court  under  Section  25
is essentially a power  of  superintendence.  Therefore,  despite  the  wide
language employed in Section 25, the High Court quite obviously  should  not
interfere with findings of fact merely because it does not  agree  with  the
finding of the subordinate authority. The power conferred on the High  Court
under Section 25 of the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and  Rent  Control)  Act
may not be as narrow as  the  revisional  power  of  the  High  Court  under
Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure but in  the  words  of  Untwalia,
J., in Dattonpant Gopalvarao Devakate  v.  Vithalrao  Maruthirao  Janagaval;
“it is not wide enough to make the  High  Court  a  second  Court  of  first
appeal”.

Pertinently,  in  Sri  Raja  Lakshmi  Dyeing  Works5,  the  Court  said   in
unequivocal words that concurrent findings, based  on  evidence,  cannot  be
touched upon by the High Court exercising jurisdiction under Section  25  of
the Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act.
12.         In  Krishnamachari[6],  the  Court  followed  Sri  Raja  Lakshmi
Dyeing Works5 while considering the scope of revisional power under  Section
25 of the Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act.
13.         A 3-Judge Bench of this Court in Ram Dass2  was  concerned  with
the revisional power of the High Court  under  Section  15(5)  of  the  East
Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949.  Inter alia, the  Court  noted  the
earlier judgments of this Court in Dattonpant4 and Sri Raja  Lakshmi  Dyeing
Works5 and observed as under:
      “On the first contention that the revisional powers do not  extend  to
interference with and  upsetting  of  findings  of  fact,  it  needs  to  be
observed that, subject  to  the  well  known  limitations  inherent  in  all
revisional jurisdictions, the matter essentially turns on  the  language  of
the statute investing the jurisdiction. The decisions relied  upon  by  Shri
Harbans Lal, deal, in the first case, with the limitations on the  scope  of
interference with findings of fact in second  appeals  and  in  the  second,
with the limitation on the revisional powers where the words in the  statute
limit it to the examination whether or  not  the  order  under  revision  is
“according to law”. The scope of the revisional powers of  the  High  Court,
where the High Court is required  to  be  satisfied  that  the  decision  is
“according to law” is considered by Beaumont, C.J. in Bell  &  Co.  Ltd.  v.
Waman Hemraj (AIR 1938 Bom 223) a case referred to  with  approval  by  this
Court in Hari Shankar v. Girdhari Lal Chowdhury (AIR 1963 SC 698)

      But here, Section 15(5) of the Act enables the High Court  to  satisfy
itself as to the “legality and  propriety”  of  the  order  under  revision,
which is, quite obviously, a  much  wider  jurisdiction.  That  jurisdiction
enables the  court  of  revision,  in  appropriate  cases,  to  examine  the
correctness of the findings of facts also, though the  revisional  court  is
not “a second court of first appeal”

                                                   (emphasis supplied by us)


14.         In Rukmini1, the scope of revisional power under Section  20  of
the Kerala Rent Control Act fell for consideration before a  3-Judge  Bench.
The Bench considered the provision of Section 20  of  that  Act,  vis-à-vis,
Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure and held as under:

      “As far as the present Act is concerned Section 20 contains  the  word
“propriety” also. As to the meaning of the word  “propriety”  in  Raman  and
Raman Ltd. v. State of Madras (1956 SCR 256) at page 264 it was held thus:

      “The word ‘propriety’ has nowhere been  defined  in  the  Act  and  is
capable of a variety of meanings. In the  Oxford  English  Dictionary  (Vol.
VIII), it has been  stated  to  mean  ‘fitness;  appropriateness;  aptitude;
suitability; appropriateness to the circumstances or conditions;  conformity
with requirements, rule  or  principle;  rightness,  correctness,  justness,
accuracy’.”

      Therefore, the question would  be  whether  in  the  context  of  this
provision the High Court was  right  in  re-appreciating  the  evidence  and
coming to a different conclusion? In the impugned judgment  in  paragraph  7
the High Court observed:

“Under Section 20 of the Act though re-appreciation of the evidence as  such
is not called for, the  pleadings  and  evidence  have  to  be  examined  to
satisfy the legality, regularity of the order of the lower authorities.”

      We are afraid this approach of the  High  Court  is  wrong.  Even  the
wider language of Section 20 of the Act cannot enable the High Court to  act
as a first or a second court of appeal. Otherwise  the  distinction  between
appellate and revisional jurisdiction will get obliterated. Hence, the  High
Court was not right in re-appreciating the  entire  evidence  both  oral  or
documentary in the light of the Commissioner’s report  (Exts.  C-1  and  C-2
[pic]mahazar). In our considered view, the  High  Court  had  travelled  far
beyond the revisional  jurisdiction.  Even  by  the  presence  of  the  word
“propriety” it  cannot  mean  that  there  could  be  a  re-appreciation  of
evidence.  Of  course,  the  revisional  court  can  come  to  a   different
conclusion but not on a re-appreciation of evidence;  on  the  contrary,  by
confining  itself  to  legality,  regularity  and  propriety  of  the  order
impugned before it. Therefore, we are unable to agree with the reasoning  of
the High Court with reference to the exercise of revisional jurisdiction.”

While holding as above, the 3-Judge Bench also referred to the decisions  of
this Court in H.V. Mathai[7]  and Rai Chand Jain[8].  In H.V. Mathai7,  this
Court observed that the words of Section 20 are much  wider  than  those  in
Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.  It was also  observed  that  on
the words of Section 20, it could not be held that the revision was  limited
to a mere question of jurisdiction.  In Rai Chand Jain8,  relying  upon  Ram
Dass2, the Court observed:

 “… The High Court in exercising its power under Section 15(5) of  the  said
Act is within its jurisdiction to reverse the findings of fact as  the  same
were improper  and  also  illegal.  It  is  appropriate  to  refer  in  this
connection to the decision in the case of Ram Dass v. Ishwar  Chander  where
it has been held that Section 15(5) of the Act enables  the  High  Court  to
satisfy itself as  to  the  “legality  or  propriety”  of  the  order  under
revision, which  is,  quite  obviously,  a  much  wider  jurisdiction.  That
[pic]jurisdiction enables the court of revision, in  appropriate  cases,  to
examine  the  correctness  of  the  findings  of  facts  also,  though   the
revisional court is not ‘a second court of first appeal...”

15.         In Sankaranarayanan[9], the Court had an  occasion  to  consider
the scope of powers of revisional Court under Section 25 of the  Tamil  Nadu
Rent Control Act. The 2-Judge Bench which heard the matter observed that  it
was improper for the High Court to  consider  the  revision  petition  under
Section 25 as if it were a second appeal.  The Court firmly stated that  the
findings of  the  first  appellate  Court  could  not  be  reversed  upon  a
reassessment of the evidence.
16.         In Shiv Sarup  Gupta[10],  this  Court  with  reference  to  the
revisional jurisdiction of the High Court under  Section  25-B  (8)  of  the
Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, though reiterated that the High  Court  cannot
enter into appreciation or re-appreciation of evidence merely because it  is
inclined to take a different view of the facts as if  it  were  a  Court  of
facts, but also held that the High Court is obliged to  test  the  order  of
the Rent Controller on the touchstone of “whether it is  according  to  law”
and, for that limited purpose,  may  enter  into  reappraisal  of  evidence,
i.e., for the purpose of ascertaining whether the conclusion arrived  at  by
the Rent Controller is wholly unreasonable or  is  one  that  no  reasonable
person  acting  with  objectivity  could  have  reached  on   the   material
available.  The  Court  observed  that  ignoring  the  weight  of  evidence,
proceeding on a wrong premise of law or deriving such  conclusion  from  the
established facts as betray  a  lack  of  reason  and/or  objectivity  would
render the finding of the Controller “not according to law” calling  for  an
interference under the proviso to sub-section (8) of  Section  25-B  of  the
Delhi Rent Control Act.
17.         Again in Ram Narain Arora[11], a 2-Judge  Bench  with  reference
to revisional power under Section 25-B of the Delhi Rent Control  Act,  1958
observed as follows:

      “It is no doubt true that the  scope  of  a  revision  petition  under
Section 25-B(8) proviso of the Delhi Rent Control  Act  is  a  very  limited
one, but even so in examining the legality or propriety of  the  proceedings
before  the  Rent  Controller,  the  High  Court  could  examine  the  facts
available in order to find out whether he had correctly or on a  firm  legal
basis approached the matters on record to decide the case. Pure findings  of
fact may not be open to be interfered with, but (sic if) in  a  given  case,
the finding of fact is given on a wrong premise of law, certainly  it  would
be open to the revisional court to interfere with such  a  matter.  In  this
case, the  Rent  Controller  proceeded  to  analyse  the  matter  that  non-
disclosure of a particular information was fatal and,  therefore,  dismissed
the claim made by the landlord. It is in these circumstances that it  became
necessary for the High Court to re-examine the matter and  then  decide  the
entire question. We do not think that any of the decisions  referred  to  by
the learned counsel decides the question of the same nature  with  which  we
are concerned. Therefore, detailed reference to them is not required.”

18.         The scope of the High Court’s  revisional  power  under  Section
50(1) of the Karnataka Rent Control Act, 1961 came to be considered by a  2-
Judge Bench of this Court in M.S.  Zahed[12].  The  provision  (Section  50)
under consideration reads, “The High Court may, at any  time  call  for  and
examine any order passed or proceeding taken by (the Court of  Small  Causes
or the Court of the Civil Judge) under this Act or any order passed  by  the
Controller under Sections 14, 15, 16 or 17 for  the  purpose  of  satisfying
itself as to the legality or correctness of such  order  or  proceeding  and
may pass such order in reference thereto  as  it  thinks  fit.”  The  Court,
while observing that revisional power cannot be equated with  the  power  of
reconsideration of all questions of fact as a Court of  first  appeal,  held
that still the nature of the  revisional  jurisdiction  of  the  High  Court
under Section 50 of the Act will have to be considered in the light  of  the
express provisions of the statute concerning  such  power.  On  the  express
language of Section 50(1) of the Act, the Court observed that it  cannot  be
said that the High Court has no jurisdiction to  go  into  the  question  of
correctness of findings of fact reached by the  Court  of  Small  Causes  on
relevant evidence. The Court  considered  a  couple  of  decisions  of  this
Court,  (1)  Central  Tobacco  Company[13]  and   (2)   Bhoolchand[14]   and
ultimately concluded that the High Court in revision  under  Section  50  of
the Act was entitled to re-appreciate the evidence with a  view  to  finding
out whether the order of the Court of Small Causes was legal or correct.
19.         In Ubaiba[15], a 2-Judge Bench  of  this  Court,  while  dealing
with revisional jurisdiction of the High  Court  under  Section  20  of  the
Kerala  Rent  Control  Act,  considered  the  meaning  of   the   expression
‘propriety’. The Court held that in re-appreciating the evidence,  the  High
Court had exceeded its revisional jurisdiction. This  is  what  the  2-Judge
Bench said:

      “Mr. K. Sukumaran,  the  learned  Senior  Counsel  appearing  for  the
appellant contended that however wide the  jurisdiction  of  the  revisional
court under the Act in question may be, but it cannot have  jurisdiction  to
reappreciate the evidence and  substitute  its  own  finding  upsetting  the
finding arrived at by the appellate authority  and  therefore  the  impugned
order of the High  Court  is  unsustainable  in  law.  In  support  of  this
contention reliance has been placed on a decision of this Court in the  case
of Rukmini Amma Saradamma v. Kallyani Sulochana (1993) 1 SCC 499  whereunder
the selfsame provision of the  Kerala  Act  was  under  consideration.  This
Court after noticing the word “propriety” used in Section  20  came  to  the
conclusion that the approach of the High Court was totally  wrong  and  even
the wider language of Section 20 of the Act cannot enable the High Court  to
act as a first or a  second  court  of  appeal.  Otherwise  the  distinction
between appellate and revisional  jurisdiction  will  get  obliterated.  The
Court also further observed “even by the presence of  the  word  ‘propriety’
it cannot mean that there could be  any  reappreciation  of  evidence”.  The
learned counsel for the respondent on the  other  hand  contended  that  the
aforesaid decision will have no application to the case in  hand  where  the
dispute involved relates to a  jurisdictional  fact  and  according  to  the
learned counsel where the dispute is in relation to  a  jurisdictional  fact
there should not be any fetter on the power of the revisional court even  to
reappreciate the evidence and come to its own conclusion. On being asked  to
support the aforesaid proposition no authority could  be  placed  though  on
first principle learned counsel for  the  respondent  argued  as  aforesaid.
Having examined the rival submission and having gone  through  the  decision
of this Court referred to earlier we are  of  the  considered  opinion  that
though the revisional power under the Rent Act may  be  wider  than  Section
115 of the Code of Civil Procedure  it  cannot  be  equated  even  with  the
second appellate power conferred on the civil court under the Code of  Civil
Procedure. Notwithstanding the use of the expression “propriety” in  Section
20, the revisional court therefore will not be entitled to reappreciate  the
evidence and substitute its own conclusion in place  of  the  conclusion  of
the appellate authority. On examining the  impugned  judgment  of  the  High
Court in the light of the aforesaid ratio of this Court it is crystal  clear
that  the  High  Court  exceeded  its  jurisdiction  by  reappreciating  the
evidence and in coming to the conclusion that the relationship of  landlord-
tenant did not exist. In the circumstances, the  impugned  revisional  order
of the High Court is wholly unsustainable and we set aside the same and  the
order of the appellate authority is affirmed.”

20.         The scope of power of revision under Section  25  of  the  Tamil
Nadu Rent Control Act also fell for consideration before a 2-Judge Bench  of
this Court in T. Sivasubramaniam[16]. The Court in paragraph 5 (page 279  of
the Report) held as follows:

“5. So far as the second submission is concerned, the language  employed  in
Section 25 of the Act, which confers revisional  jurisdiction  on  the  High
Court, is very wide. Under Section 25 of the Act, the High  Court  can  call
for and examine the record of the appellate authority in  order  to  satisfy
itself as to regularity of such proceedings or the correctness, legality  or
propriety of any decision or orders passed therein. The  words  “to  satisfy
itself” employed  in  Section  25  of  the  Act  no  doubt  is  a  power  of
superintendence, and the High Court is not required to  interfere  with  the
finding of fact merely because the High Court is not in agreement  with  the
findings of the courts below. It is also true that the power exercisable  by
the High Court under Section 25 of the Act is  not  an  appellate  power  to
reappraise or reassess the  evidence  for  coming  to  a  different  finding
contrary to the finding recorded by the courts below. But  where  a  finding
arrived at by the courts below is based  on  no  evidence,  the  High  Court
would be justified in interfering  with  such  a  finding  recorded  by  the
courts below. In the present case what we  find  is  that  neither  has  the
landlord  set  out  his  need  or  requirement  for  the  premises  for  his
occupation in his petition nor has he led any  evidence  to  show  that  his
need is bona fide. In the absence of such evidence, the Rent Controller  and
the first  appellate  authority  acted  contrary  to  law  in  allowing  the
petition of the landlord by directing the eviction of the tenants.  In  such
circumstances, the High Court was fully justified in  interfering  with  the
findings of the courts below. We, therefore, reject  the  second  submission
of learned counsel.”

21.         In Ramdoss[17], this Court again had  an  occasion  to  consider
the scope of Section 25 of the Tamil Nadu Rent  Control  Act.  Relying  upon
Sankaranarayanan9, the Court held that the  revisional  power  of  the  High
Court under Section 25 of the Act  not  being  an  appellate  power,  it  is
impermissible for the High Court to reassess  the  evidence  in  a  revision
petition filed under Section 25 of the Act. The Court  did  not  accept  the
argument that in exercise of its revisional  jurisdiction,  the  High  Court
can interfere with incorrect finding of fact recorded by the Courts below.
22.         In Shaw Wallace[18], a 2-Judge Bench of this Court  relied  upon
M.S. Zahed12 decision of this Court and held in paragraph 13 of  the  Report
as follows:
“13. On a plain reading of Section 25 of the  Act,  it  is  clear  that  the
revisional jurisdiction vested in the  High  Court  under  that  section  is
wider than Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.  The  High  Court  is
entitled to satisfy itself as to the regularity of the  proceeding,  of  the
correctness, legality or propriety of any decision or order  passed  therein
and if, on examination, it appears to the High Court that any such  decision
or  order  should  be  modified,  annulled,   reversed   or   remitted   for
reconsideration, it may pass such orders accordingly.”

23.         The scope of revisional power under Section  20  of  the  Kerala
Rent Control Act fell for consideration in V.M. Mohan[19]. The  Court  while
allowing the appeal set aside the order of the High Court as it  found  that
the High Court had re-appreciated the evidence to  come  to  the  conclusion
different from the trial Court as well as the  appellate  Court.  The  Court
observed that as  the  revision  application  was  concluded  by  concurrent
finding of fact recorded by the original authority as well as the  appellate
authority, no interference by the High Court was called for.
24.         In  Olympic  Industries[20],  this  Court,  while  dealing  with
revisional jurisdiction of the High Court under  Section  25  of  the  Tamil
Nadu Rent Control Act, observed that the High  Court  could  interfere  with
concurrent orders of the tribunals in revisional jurisdiction only if  their
findings are perverse or arbitrary and irregular or improper.
25.         Before we consider the matter further to find out the scope  and
extent of revisional jurisdiction under the above three Rent  Control  Acts,
a quick observation  about  the  ‘appellate  jurisdiction’  and  ‘revisional
jurisdiction’ is necessary.   Conceptually,  revisional  jurisdiction  is  a
part of appellate jurisdiction but it is not  vice-versa.   Both,  appellate
jurisdiction and revisional jurisdiction  are  creatures  of  statutes.   No
party to the proceeding has an inherent right of  appeal  or  revision.   An
appeal is continuation of suit or original proceeding, as the case  may  be.
The power of the appellate court is co-extensive  with  that  of  the  trial
court.  Ordinarily, appellate jurisdiction involves re-hearing on facts  and
law but such  jurisdiction  may  be  limited  by  the  statute  itself  that
provides  for  appellate  jurisdiction.   On  the  other  hand,   revisional
jurisdiction, though, is a part of appellate jurisdiction but ordinarily  it
cannot be equated with that of  a  full-fledged  appeal.   In  other  words,
revision is not continuation of suit or of original  proceeding.   When  the
aid of revisional court is invoked on the revisional side, it can  interfere
within the permissible parameters provided in the statute.  It goes  without
saying that if a revision  is  provided  against  an  order  passed  by  the
tribunal/appellate authority, the decision of the revisional  court  is  the
operative decision in law.  In our view, as regards the extent of  appellate
or revisional jurisdiction, much would,  however,  depend  on  the  language
employed by the statute conferring  appellate  jurisdiction  and  revisional
jurisdiction.
26.         With the above general observations, we shall now  endeavour  to
determine the extent, scope, ambit and meaning of  the  terms  “legality  or
propriety”, “regularity, correctness, legality or propriety” and  “legality,
regularity or propriety” which are used in three  Rent  Control  Acts  under
consideration.
27.         The ordinary meaning of the word ‘legality’ is  lawfulness.   It
refers to strict adherence to law, prescription, or  doctrine;  the  quality
of being legal.
28.         The term ‘propriety’ means fitness;  appropriateness,  aptitude;
suitability; appropriateness to the circumstances  or  condition  conformity
with requirement; rules  or  principle,  rightness,  correctness,  justness,
accuracy.
29.         The terms ‘correctness’ and ‘propriety’  ordinarily  convey  the
same meaning, that is, something which is legal and proper. In its  ordinary
meaning  and  substance,  ‘correctness’  is  compounded  of  ‘legality’  and
‘propriety’ and that which is legal and proper is ‘correct’.
30.          The  expression  “regularity”  with  reference  to   an   order
ordinarily relates to the  procedure  being  followed  in  accord  with  the
principles of natural justice and fair play.
31.         We have already noted in the earlier part of the  judgment  that
although there is some difference in the  language  employed  by  the  three
Rent  Control  Acts  under  consideration  which  provide   for   revisional
jurisdiction but, in our view, the revisional power of the High Court  under
these Acts is substantially similar and broadly  such  power  has  the  same
scope save and except the power to invoke revisional jurisdiction  suo  motu
unless so provided expressly.  None of these statutes confers on  revisional
authority the power  as  wide  as  that  of  appellate  court  or  appellate
authority despite such power being wider than that provided in  Section  115
of the Code of Civil Procedure.  The provision under consideration does  not
permit the High Court to invoke the revisional jurisdiction as the cloak  of
an appeal in disguise.  Revision does not  lie  under  these  provisions  to
bring  the  orders  of  the  Trial  Court/Rent  Controller   and   Appellate
Court/Appellate Authority  for  re-hearing  of  the  issues  raised  in  the
original proceedings.
 32.        We are in full agreement with the view  expressed  in  Sri  Raja
Lakshmi Dyeing Works5 that where both expressions  “appeal”  and  “revision”
are employed in a statute, obviously, the expression “revision” is meant  to
convey the idea of a much narrower jurisdiction than that  conveyed  by  the
expression “appeal”.  The use of two  expressions  “appeal”  and  “revision”
when used in one statute conferring appellate power  and  revisional  power,
we think, is not without purpose and  significance.   Ordinarily,  appellate
jurisdiction involves a re-hearing while  it  is  not  so  in  the  case  of
revisional jurisdiction when the same statute provides the remedy by way  of
an ‘appeal’ and so also of a ‘revision’.  If that were  so,  the  revisional
power would become  co-extensive  with  that  of  the  trial  Court  or  the
subordinate Tribunal which is never the  case.   The  classic  statement  in
Dattonpant4  that revisional power under the Rent Control Act may not be  as
narrow as the revisional power under Section 115 of the  Code  but,  at  the
same time, it is not wide enough to make the High Court a  second  Court  of
first appeal, commends to us and we approve the same.  We are  of  the  view
that in the garb of revisional  jurisdiction  under  the  above  three  Rent
Control Statutes, the High Court is not conferred a status of  second  Court
of first appeal  and  the  High  Court  should  not  enlarge  the  scope  of
revisional jurisdiction to that extent.
33.         Insofar as the 3-Judge Bench  decision  of  this  Court  in  Ram
Dass2 is concerned, it rightly observes that revisional power is subject  to
well-known limitations inherent in  all  revisional  jurisdictions  and  the
matter  essentially turns on the  language  of  the  statute  investing  the
jurisdiction.  We do not think that there  can  ever  be  objection  to  the
above statement.  The controversy centers round  the  following  observation
in Ram Dass2, “...that  jurisdiction  enables  the  Court  of  revision,  in
appropriate cases, to examine the  correctness  of  the  findings  of  facts
also...”.  It is suggested that by observing so, the 3-Judge  Bench  in  Ram
Dass2 has enabled the High Court to interfere with the findings of  fact  by
re-appreciating the evidence.  We do not think that the  3-Judge  Bench  has
gone to that extent in Ram Dass2.  The observation in Ram Dass2 that as  the
expression  used  conferring  revisional  jurisdiction  is   “legality   and
propriety”, the High Court has wider jurisdiction obviously means  that  the
power of revision vested in the High Court in the statute is wider than  the
power conferred on it under Section 115 of the Code of Civil  Procedure;  it
is not confined to the jurisdictional  error  alone.   However,  in  dealing
with the findings of fact, the examination of findings of fact by  the  High
Court is limited to satisfy itself that the decision is “according to  law”.
 This is expressly stated in Ram Dass2. Whether or not  a  finding  of  fact
recorded by the subordinate court/tribunal is according to law, is  required
to be seen on the touchstone whether such finding of fact is based  on  some
legal evidence or it suffers from any  illegality  like  misreading  of  the
evidence or overlooking and ignoring the  material  evidence  altogether  or
suffers from perversity or any such illegality or such finding has  resulted
in gross miscarriage of justice.    Ram  Dass2   does  not  lay  down  as  a
proposition of law that the revisional power of the  High  Court  under  the
Rent Control Act is as wide as that of the Appellate Court or the  Appellate
Authority  or  such  power  is  co-extensive  with  that  of  the  Appellate
Authority or that the concluded finding of fact  recorded  by  the  original
Authority or the Appellate Authority can be  interfered  with  by  the  High
Court by re-appreciating evidence because revisional court/authority is  not
in agreement with the  finding  of  fact  recorded  by  the  Court/Authority
below.    Ram Dass2 does not exposit that  the  revisional  power  conferred
upon the High Court is as wide as an appellate power to re-appraise  or  re-
assess the evidence for coming  to  a  different  finding  contrary  to  the
finding recorded by the Court/Authority below.  Rather, it  emphasises  that
while examining the correctness of findings of fact,  the  revisional  Court
is not the second Court of first appeal.   Ram  Dass2  does  not  cross  the
limits of revisional court as explained in Dattonpant4.
34.         Rai Chand Jain8 that follows Ram Dass2 also does  not  lay  down
that the High Court in exercise of its power under the Rent Control Act  may
reverse the findings of  fact  merely  because  on  re-appreciation  of  the
evidence it has a different view on the findings of fact.  The  observations
made by this Court in Rai Chand Jain8 must also be read in  the  context  we
have explained Ram Dass2.
35.         In Shiv Sarup Gupta10,  the  observations  of  this  Court  with
reference to revisional jurisdiction of the High Court under the Delhi  Rent
Control Act that the High  Court,  on  the  touchstone  of  “whether  it  is
according to law” and for that limited purpose, may enter  into  reappraisal
of evidence must be understood in  the  context  of  its  observations  made
preceding  such  observation  that  the  High  Court   cannot   enter   into
appreciation or re-appreciation of evidence merely because  it  is  inclined
to take a different view of the facts as if it were a  Court  of  facts  and
the observations following such observation that the  evidence  is  examined
by the High Court to find out whether Court/Authority below has ignored  the
evidence or proceeded on a wrong premise of law or derived  such  conclusion
from the established facts which betray lack of reasons  and/or  objectivity
which renders the finding not according to law.   Shiv  Sarup  Gupta10  also
does  not  lay  down  the  proposition  of  law  that  in   its   revisional
jurisdiction under the Rent Control Act, the High Court can rehear on  facts
or re-appreciate the evidence to come to the conclusion different from  that
of the trial Court or the appellate Court because it has  a  different  view
on appreciation of evidence.  Shiv Sarup Gupta10 must also be understood  in
the context we have explained  Ram Dass2.
36.         The observations in Ram Narain Arora11  that  in  examining  the
‘legality’ or ‘propriety’ of the proceedings  before  the  Rent  Controller,
the High Court could examine the facts available must be understood for  the
purpose stated therein, namely, in order to find out  that  the  finding  of
facts are based on firm legal basis and are not given on a wrong premise  of
law. Ram Narain Arora11 also lays down that pure findings of  fact  are  not
for interference in revisional jurisdiction.
37.         The statement in M.S. Zahed12  that  under  Section  50  of  the
Karnataka Rent Control Act, the High Court is entitled to re-appreciate  the
evidence with a view to find out whether the order of Small Causes Court  is
legal and correct must be understood  in  light  of  the  observations  made
therein, namely, that revisional power cannot be equated with the  power  of
re-consideration of all questions of fact as a Court of first appeal.
38.         Shaw Wallace18 has relied upon M.S. Zahed12  and  observed  that
the High Court is entitled to satisfy itself as to  the  regularity  of  the
proceeding, of the correctness, legality or propriety  of  any  decision  or
order passed therein and if, on examination, it appears to  the  High  Court
that any such decision or order should be modified,  annulled,  reversed  or
remitted for reconsideration, it may pass such order  accordingly.  In  Shaw
Wallace18, this Court does  not  lay  down  that  the  High  Court  can  re-
appreciate  the  evidence  to  come  to  conclusion   different   from   the
court/authority below  as the appellate Court.
39.         Rukmini1 holds, and in our view, rightly  that  even  the  wider
language of Section 20 of the Kerala Rent Control Act does  not  enable  the
High Court to act as a first or a second court of appeal.  We  are  in  full
agreement with the view of the 3-Judge  Bench  in  Rukmini1  that  the  word
“propriety” does not confer power  upon  the  High  Court  to  re-appreciate
evidence to  come  to  a  different  conclusion  but  its  consideration  of
evidence is confined to find out legality, regularity and propriety  of  the
order impugned before it. We approve the view of this Court in Rukmini1.
40.         The observation in Sankaranarayanan9 that the  revisional  Court
under Section 25 of the Tamil Nadu  Rent  Control  Act  cannot  reverse  the
findings of the first appellate Court upon a reassessment of evidence is  in
line with Rukmini1 and we approve the same.
41.         Similarly, the view in Ubaiba15,  which  has  followed  Rukmini1
that, under Section 20 of the Kerala Rent Control Act, the revisional  court
will not be entitled to re-appreciate the evidence and  substitute  its  own
conclusion in place of the conclusion of  the  Appellate  Authority  is  the
correct view and gets our nod.
42.         In T. Sivasubramaniam16 this Court has held that  under  Section
25 of the Tamil Nadu Rent Control Act, the High  Court  does  not  enjoy  an
appellate power to reappraise or reassess  the  evidence  for  coming  to  a
different finding contrary to the finding  recorded  by  the  courts  below.
This view is the correct view and we approve the same.
43.         The observation in Ramdoss17 that the High Court in exercise  of
its revisional jurisdiction cannot act as an appellate  court/authority  and
it is impermissible for the  High  Court  to  reassess  the  evidence  in  a
revision petition filed under Section 25  of  the  Act  is  in  accord  with
Rukmini1 and  Sankaranarayanan9. Its observation that  the  High  Court  can
interfere with incorrect finding of fact must be understood in  the  context
where such finding is perverse, based on no evidence or  misreading  of  the
evidence or such finding has been arrived at by ignoring or overlooking  the
material evidence or such finding is so grossly erroneous  that  if  allowed
to stand, will occasion in miscarriage of justice.  Ramdoss17 does not  hold
that the High Court may interfere with the findings of fact because  on  re-
appreciation of the evidence its view is different from that  of  the  first
Appellate Court or Authority.
44.         The decision of this Court in V.M.  Mohan19  is  again  in  line
with the judgment of this Court in Rukmini1.
45.         We hold, as we must, that none of the above  Rent  Control  Acts
entitles the High Court to interfere with the findings of fact  recorded  by
the  First  Appellate  Court/First  Appellate  Authority  because   on   re-
appreciation  of  the   evidence,   its   view   is   different   from   the
Court/Authority below.  The consideration or examination of the evidence  by
the High Court in revisional jurisdiction under these Acts  is  confined  to
find out that finding of facts recorded  by  the  Court/Authority  below  is
according to law and does not suffer from any error of  law.  A  finding  of
fact recorded by Court/Authority below, if perverse or has been  arrived  at
without consideration of the material evidence or such  finding   is   based
on no evidence or  misreading  of  the  evidence  or  is  grossly  erroneous
that, if allowed to stand, it would result in gross miscarriage of  justice,
is open to correction because it is not treated as a  finding  according  to
law.   In  that  event,  the  High  Court  in  exercise  of  its  revisional
jurisdiction under the above Rent Control Acts  shall  be  entitled  to  set
aside the impugned order as being not legal or proper.  The  High  Court  is
entitled to satisfy itself the correctness or legality or propriety  of  any
decision or order impugned  before  it  as  indicated  above.   However,  to
satisfy itself to the regularity, correctness, legality or propriety of  the
impugned decision or the order, the High Court shall not exercise its  power
as an appellate power to re-appreciate or re-assess the evidence for  coming
to a different finding on facts.  Revisional power  is  not  and  cannot  be
equated with the power of reconsideration of all  questions  of  fact  as  a
court of first appeal.  Where the High Court is  required  to  be  satisfied
that the decision is according to law, it  may  examine  whether  the  order
impugned before it suffers from procedural illegality or irregularity.
46.         We, thus, approve the view of this Court in Rukmini1   as  noted
by us.  The decision of this Court in Ram Dass2 must be  read  as  explained
above.  The reference is answered accordingly.
47.         Civil Appeals and Special Leave Petitions shall  now  be  posted
before the regular Benches for decision in light of the above.

      ….………..……………………CJI.
(R.M. Lodha)


       …….………..……………………J.
(Dipak Misra)


             …….………..……………………J.                    (Madan B. Lokur)


       …….………..……………………J.
(Kurian Joseph)


NEW DELHI;                          …….………..……………………J.
AUGUST 27, 2014. (S.A. Bobde)




-----------------------
[1]    Rukmini Amma Saradamma v. Kallyani Sulochana and others; [(1993) 1
SCC 499]
[2]    Ram Dass v. Ishwar Chander and others; [AIR 1988 SC 1422]
[3]    Moti Ram v. Suraj Bhan and others; [AIR 1960 SC 655]
[4]    Dattonpant Gopalvarao Devakate v. Vithalrao Maruthirao Janagaval;
[(1975) 2 SCC 246]
[5]    M/s. Sri Raja Lakshmi Dyeing Works and others v. Rangaswamy
Chettiar; [(1980) 4 SCC 259]
[6]    P.R Krishnamachari v. Lalitha Ammal; [1987 (Supp) SCC 250]
[7]    H.V. Mathai v. Subordinate Judge, Kottayam; [(1969) 2 SCC 194]
[8]     Rai Chand Jain v. Miss Chandra Kanta Khosla; [(1991) 1 SCC 422]
[9]    Dr. D. Sankaranarayanan v. Punjab National Bank; [1995 Supp. (4) SCC
675]
[10]   Shiv Sarup Gupta v. Dr. Mahesh Chand Gupta; [(1999) 6 SCC 222]
[11]   Ram Narain Arora v. Asha Rani and Ors.; [(1999) 1 SCC 141]
[12]   M.S. Zahed v. K. Raghavan; [(1999) 1 SCC 439]
[13]   Central Tobacco Company v. Chandra Prakash; [1969 UJ 432]
[14]   Bhoolchand and Anr. v. Kay Pee Cee Investments and Anr.; [(1991) 1
SCC 343]
[15]   Ubaiba v. Damodaran; [(1999) 5 SCC 645]
[16]   T. Sivasubramaniam and Ors. v. Kasinath Pujari and Ors.; [(1999) 7
SCC 275]
[17]   Ramdoss v. K. Thangavelu; [(2000) 2 SCC 135]
[18]   Shaw Wallace & Co. Ltd. v. Govindas Purushothamdas and Anr.; [(2001)
3 SCC 445]
[19]   V.M. Mohan v. Prabha Rajan Dwarka and Ors.; [(2006) 9 SCC 606]
[20]   Olympic Industries v. Mulla Hussainy Bhai Mulla Akberally and Ors.;
[(2009) 15 SCC 528]

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