Supreme Court on Order 41 Rule 31 CPC: Omission To Separately Frame Issues Not Fatal If Appellate Court Has Otherwise Dealt With Them

Supreme Court Law Insider

Published on: May 12, 2024 16:38 IST

Supreme Court held that an omission to frame points of determination by the first appellate court as per Order 41 Rule 31 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”) would not prove fatal as long as that first appellate court dealt with all the issues that arise for deliberation in the said appeal.

Supreme Court bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Sanjay Kumar said, “Even if the first appellate Court does not separately frame the points for determination arising in the first appeal, it would not prove fatal as long as that Court deals with all the issues that actually arise for deliberation in the said appeal. Substantial compliance with the mandate of Order 41 Rule 31 CPC in that regard is sufficient”.

Supreme Court clarified that failure by the first appellate court to frame specific points for determination, as required by Order 41 Rule 31 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”), would not invalidate the judgment. As long as the first appellate court thoroughly addresses all the issues raised in the appeal from the trial court’s decision, it satisfies the legal mandate.

The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar, emphasized that substantial compliance with Rule 31 is key, where the first appellate court examines all issues after hearing both parties. Order 41 of CPC governs appeals from original decrees, with Rule 31 stipulating that the judgment must include points for determination, decision thereon, reasons for the decision, and relief granted if the decree is reversed or varied.

The appellant argued that the first appellate court failed to frame points for determination. However, the Court cited precedent, Laliteshwar Prasad Singh and others vs. S.P. Srivastava (Dead) thru. Lrs, asserting that such an omission doesn’t invalidate the judgment if the court records reasons based on evidence from both sides. The Supreme Court noted that the High Court, in this instance, addressed all issues framed by the trial court and didn’t omit any relevant issues. Therefore, it dismissed the contention that the judgment should be set aside due to this procedural lapse.

Consequently, Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s decision to allow the respondent’s first appeal. Counsels for the appellant(s) included Mr. Huzefa Ahmadi, Sr. Adv., Mr. Amit Thakkar, Adv., Mr. Mrugen Purohit, Adv., Mr. Mahesh Agarwal, Adv., Mr. Ankur Saigal, Adv., Ms. S. Lakshmi Iyer, Adv., and Ms. Kamakshi Sehgal, Adv., represented by Mr. E. C. Agrawala, AOR. Counsels for the respondent(s) included Mr. Preetesh Kapur, Sr. Adv., Ms. Hemantika Wahi, AOR, and Ms. Jesal Wahi, Adv. The case title is “Mrugendra Indravadan Mehta and Others Versus Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.”

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