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Lack of Particular Evidence is no Ground for an Appellate Court to Remand a Matter

-Report by Arun Bhattacharya

The honourable Supreme Court of India on Monday (27th of February, 2023) while allowing an appeal matter (SIRAJUDHEEN versus ZEENATH & Ors.) observed that “merely because a particular evidence which ought to have been adduced but had not been adduced, the Appellate Court cannot adopt the soft course of remanding the matter.” 

FACTS

The original matter concerned a civil suit filed by one of the sisters who were involved in an agreement regarding their father’s property. The primary cause of action arose because of a fraudulent or coercive sale deed executed between the original plaintiff and the present appellant which as per the former’s claim was signed under the misconception that it was an agreement of a completely different subject matter but later found out to be a sale of her portion or share in the partitioned property. The trial court dismissed the suit while the High Court in the appeal is not satisfied by the evidences and was confused to appropriately provide relief and hence remanded the matter back to the Trial Court for further incorporation of evidences. The respondents in that matter happened to be aggrieved by the same and filed the present appeal before the apex court.

APPELLANT’S CONTENTION

The counsel for the appellants primarily contended the fact that the honourable High Court was just in remanding the matter back to the Trial Court whereby giving the original plaintiffs another opportunity to adduce further evidences. This fact was a point of contention since it was their obligation while filing the initial suit and such ignorance should not be and cannot be made ground for furthering a matter which is already predisposed off. 

RESPONDENT’S CONTENTION

The respondent/ original plaintiff’s counsel tried to convince the apex court of the vitality of the stance of the High Court while remanding the matter. They highlighted the merits of the case that since the document/ sale deed was void, it was appropriate on part of the High Court to provide such an opportunity to the aggrieved parties to submit further documents in favour of supporting the same.

JUDGEMENT

The honourable apex court while pointing out some of the errors committed by the High Court while deciding the aforementioned appeal observed that

“the High Court has not at all referred to the findings of the Trial Court and it is difficult to find from the judgment impugned as to why at all those findings were not to be sustained or the decree was required to be reversed”.

The fundamental factor that the honourable Supreme Court of India emphasised was that the High Court was unable to provide just and proper reasons for remanding the matter back to the Trial Court when the latter had already concluded the same. Thus the lack of particular evidences which was expected by one party to be submitted but was not cannot be a just reason to remand the matter back to a court which had already concluded the matter on the basis of already provided evidences. This was the stance of the apex court while allowing the appeal and setting aside the impugned order of the High Court.

READ FULL JUDGEMENT: https://bit.ly/3KFGFCl

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