Wednesday, 15 April 2020

What remedy is available against consent decree to an aggrieved third party?

Still there could be one more situation, where the third party who was not the party to suit or the party to the compromise but had an interest in the subject matter of the compromise, is aggrieved by the decree passed by the Court under Order XXIII, Rule 3 on the basis of the compromise arrived at between the parties to the suit. So what remedy would be available to him? It cannot be gainsaid that the decree based on the compromise between the parties under Order XXIII, Rule 3, if remains unchallenged would be a "consent decree" binding to the parties to suit. However, when the person aggrieved is third party who was neither a party to the suit nor a party to the compromise on the basis of which the decree was passed by the Court in the suit, would not be bound by such decree. Such a decree could not be said to be a "consent decree" qua such third party, and therefore, neither the bar contained in Section 96(3) nor the bar under Rule 3A of Order XXIII would be application to him. Such an aggrieved party, with the leave of the Court can always file an appeal under Section 96(1) against the decree passed by the Court on the basis of the compromise, and can contest the decree on the ground that the compromise should, or should not have been recorded by the Court in view of Rule 1A(2) of Order XLIII of CPC. When the third party is vitally and adversely affected by the decree passed by the Court under Order XXIII, Rule 3 on the basis of the compromise arrived at between the parties to the suit on the subject matter or otherwise of the suit, he can certainly, with the leave of the appellate Court, prefer an appeal and can contest such a decree passed under Order XXIII, Rule 3. One of the grounds to contest the decree could be that such a compromise should or should not have been recorded by the Court.

31. At this juncture, the word "party" used in Sub-rule (1) and the word "appellant" used in Sub-rule (2) of Rule 1A of Order XLIII assume importance. The Sub-rule (1) of Rule 1A relates to the order passed against the 'party' to the suit, and the appeal filed by 'such party', whereas the Sub-Rule (2) of the said Rule 1A relates to the appeal filed by the 'appellant'. Such appellant may or may not be a party to the suit. The Sub-rule (2) is not confined to the appeal filed by the "party" to the suit. Hence, the third party, in the appeal against the decree passed in the suit under Rule 3 of Order XXIII can also contest such decree on the ground that such a compromise should not have been recorded.

32. In the opinion of the Court, such an aggrieved third party would also have an option to file an application for Review of the order recording the compromise or for Review of the decree based on the compromise between the parties to the suit, under Section 114 read with Order XLVII, Rule 1 of CPC, if the conditions precedent mentioned therein are satisfied. It has been held by the Supreme Court in case of Board of Control for Cricket, India Vs. Netaji Cricket Club, reported in MANU/SC/0019/2005 : AIR 2005 SC 592, that an application for Review under Order XLVII Rule 1 would be maintainable not only upon discovery of a new and important piece of evidence, or when there exists an error apparent on the face of record but also if the same is necessary on account of some mistake or for any other sufficient reason. What would constitute sufficient reason would depend upon facts and circumstances of each case. The words "sufficient reason" in Order XLVII, Rule 1 are wide enough to include a misconception of fact or law by a Court or by an advocate. An application for review may be necessitated by way of invoking he doctrine "actus curiae neminem gravabit", which means that the act of the Court shall prejudice no one. Therefore, it any person considers himself aggrieved by the order or decree passed under Order XXIII, Rule 3 may for sufficient reason apply for review of such decree or order under Order XLVII, Rule 1, subject to the conditions mentioned therein. When an application for review is granted, the Court may at once re-hear the case or make such order in regard to the rehearing as it thinks fit, as contemplated in Rule 8 of Order XLVII of CPC.

 If the aggrieved party was not the party to the suit, the remedy available to him to challenge the decree passed by the Court on the basis of compromise between the parties to the suit (consent decree), would be to file an appeal under Section 96(1) of CPC, with the leave of the appellate Court, or to file a review application before the Court, which passed the decree, as may be permissible under Section 114 read with Order XLVII of CPC.



IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

R/Appeal from Order No. 33 of 2017,

Decided On: 28.08.2019

 Sakina Sultanali Sunesara (Momin) Vs.  Shia Imami Ismaili Momin Jamat Samaj 


Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Bela M. Trivedi, G.R. Udhwani and V.P. Patel, JJ.

Citation:AIR 2020 Guj 12(FB).
Read full judgment here: Click here

Citation: AIR 2020 Guj 12
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