The Supreme Court has held that the High Court cannot convert itself into a court of appeal, while hearing a petition under Article 227 of the Indian Constitution.
In a recent case of Md. Inam v Sanjay Kumar Singhal, A division Bench of Justices Navin Sinha and BR Gavai observed that the exercise of jurisdiction by the High Court under Article 227 in the present case was patently unwarranted and unjustified.
In this case, The Rent Controller and Eviction Officer, allowing the landlord’s application, passed a final order under Section 16 of U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972, and declared the premises vacant. This order was set aside by the District Judge after a revision was filed by the tenant. A petition was then filed by the landlord before the High Court under Article 227 of the Indian Constitution. The petition challenged the validity of the Order of the District Judge, contending that the District judge had committed an illegality in entertaining a petition which was for a joint revision petition filed against both vacancy order and the final order.
It was observed that the High Court set forth the legal position in three Judge bench judgement in Achal Misra v Rama Shankar Singh where it was held that even if a party does not challenge the vacancy order by writ petition, it is still open to it to challenge the same order along with the final order passed under section 16 in the revision under Section 18. Therefore, the District Judge was justified in interfering with the order passed by the Rent Controller and Eviction Office.
The bench also said that, the District Judge was justified in interfering with the order passed by Rent Controller and Eviction Office.
The court observed: “It is a well settled principle of law, that in the guise of exercising jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, the High Court cannot convert itself into a court of appeal. It is equally well settled, that the supervisory jurisdiction extends to keeping the subordinate tribunals within the limits of their authority and seeing that they obey the law. It Has been held that though the power under Article 227 are wide, they must be exercised sparingly and only to keep subordinate courts and Tribunals within the bounds of their authority and not to correct mere errors”.