Appeals from Original Decrees (Section 96 – 99-A)

Section 96: Appeal from original decree.—

(1) Save where otherwise expressly provided in the body of this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, an appeal shall lie from every decree passed by any Court exercising original jurisdiction to the Court authorised to hear appeals from the decisions of such Court.

(2) An appeal may lie from an original decree passed ex parte.

(3) No appeal shall lie from a decree passed by the Court with the consent of parties.

(4) No appeal shall lie, except on a question of law, from a decree in any suit of the nature cognizable by Courts of Small Causes, when the amount or value of the subject-matter of the original suit does not exceed ten thousand rupees.


Section 97: Appeal from final decree where no appeal from preliminary decree.—

Where any party aggrieved by a preliminary decree passed after the commencement of this Code does not appeal from such decree, he shall be precluded from disputing its correctness in any appeal which may be preferred from the final decree.


Section 98: Decision where appeal heard by two or more Judges.—

(1) Where an appeal is heard by a Bench of two or more Judges, the appeal shall be decided in accordance with the opinion of such Judges or of the majority (if any) of such Judges.

(2) Where there is no such majority which concurs in a judgment varying or reversing the decree appealed from, such decree shall be confirmed:

Provided that where the Bench hearing the appeal is composed of two or other even number of Judges belonging to a Court consisting of more Judges than those constituting the Bench], and the Judges composing the Bench differ in opinion on a point of law, they may state the point of law upon which they differ and the appeal shall then be heard upon that point only by one or more of the other Judges, and such point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority (if any) of the Judges who have heard the appeal, including those who first heard it.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to alter or otherwise affect any provision of the letters patent of any High Court.


Section 99: No decree to be reversed or modified for error or irregularity not affecting merits or jurisdiction.—

No decree shall be reversed or substantially varied, nor shall any case be remanded, in appeal on account of any misjoinder or non-joinder of parties or causes of action or any error, defect or irregularity in any proceedings in the suit, not affecting the merits of the case or the jurisdiction of the Court:

Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to non-joinder of a necessary party.


Section 99-A: No order under Section 47 to be reversed or modified unless decision of the case is prejudically affected.—

Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of Section 99, no order under Section 47 shall be reversed or substantially varied, on account of any error, defect or irregularity in any proceeding relating to such order, unless such error, defect or irregularity has prejudically affected the decision of the case.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

1. Impact of a person’s conduct on his Right to Appeal against a consent decree(Sec. 96(3))

Katikara Chintamani Dora v. Guntreddi Annamanaidu, (1974) 1 SCC 567: “……..the bar to an appeal against a consent decree, in sub-section (3) of Section 96 of the Code is based on the broad principle of estoppel. It presupposes that the parties to an action can, expressly or by implication, waive or forego their right of appeal by any lawful agreement or compromise, or even by conduct……..”


2. Can an Appeal be filed in ‘anticipation’

Rekha Mukherjee v. Ashis Kumar Das, (2005) 3 SCC 427: “The doctrine of eclipse has no application in a case of this nature. An appeal preferred in terms of Section 96 CPC must conform to the requirements contained in Order 41 thereof. An appeal at the time of its filing would either be maintainable or would not be. The High Court, with respect, was not correct in holding that such an appeal could be filed in anticipation……”


3. Who can file an Appeal

Baldev Singh v. Surinder Mohan Sharma, (2003) 1 SCC 34: “There is no dispute that as against a decree, an appeal would be maintainable in terms of Section 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Such an appeal, however, would be maintainable only at the instance of a person aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the judgment and decree………”


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