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Major S. S. Khanna vs. Brig. F.J. Dillon, 1964 AIR 497, 1964 SCR (4) 409

Saguna Patheja ,
  21 August 2020       Share Bookmark

Court :

Brief :
High Court dismissed the appeal of the applicant stating that the decision given by the trial court that the suits were not maintainable and yet keeping them pending was itself an exercise of jurisdiction with a material irregularity.
Citation :
Appellant: MAJOR S. S. KHANNA Respondent: BRIG. F.J. DILLON Citation: 1964 AIR 497, 1964 SCR (4) 409 RF, 1970 SC 406 (10) F 1973 SC1096 (5) RF, 1988 SC 812 (16)



Once the suit has been declared non-maintainable by a Trial court, but is still pending with it, does it come under Revisional Jurisdiction of High Court by special leave?


1. Brig. F.J. Dillon and Major S.S. Khanna hereinafter called 'Dillon' and 'Khanna' respectively carried on business in partnership as Construction Engineers.

2. They agreed to dissolve the partnership with effect from February 15, 1956. By the deed of dissolution it was agreed that Dillon was to take over all the assets and properties of the partnership as absolute owner and to pay all the debts and to discharge all the liabilities of the partnership and to keep Khanna indemnified against all demands and claims in relation to the partnership business.

3. But the deed did not terminate the disputes between the partners, and Khanna commenced an action against Dillon in the Court of the Subordinate judge, 1st Class, Delhi "for dissolution of the partnership and rendition of accounts

4. On January 12, 1957, the parties arrived at a compromise (which was incorporated into a decree of the Court) confirming the earlier dissolution of the partnership, subject to a scheme of winding up, under which all outstanding realised from the debtors of the firm and the sale proceeds of certain assets were to go into a banking account to be opened in the joint names of Dillon and Khanna and were to be applied in the first instance to meet the liabilities of the dissolved firm, and the balance in that joint account was to belong to Dillon.

5. Dillon filed a suit in the Court of the Subordinate judge at Delhi for a decree for Rs. 54,250.00 with future interest alleging that between the months of May 1957 and November 1957 he had, at the request of Khanna, advanced in three sums an aggregate amount of Rs. 46,000.00 as short- term loans which Khanna had promised to but had failed to repay.

6. In trying preliminary issues raised in the suits the trial Judge held that the suits were not maintainable, but instead of dismissing the suits there and then, he set them down for a future date.

7. Against the findings of the trial Judge, revision petitions were filed in the High Court under s. 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

8. The High Court of Punjab in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction set aside the order, and directed that the suit be heard and disposed of according to law.

9. The jurisdiction of the High Court to set aside the order in exercise of the power under s. 115 Code of Civil Procedure was challenged by Khanna.

Appellants Contention

The appellant contended that since it was held that the suit being by a partner against another partner of a dissolved firm which was in the process of winding up, and in respect of advances from the partnership assets, was not maintainable, hence it does not come under the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court. According to him, the case has already been decided within the meaning of S.115 Code of Civil Procedure.

Respondent Contention

The respondent replied by saying that the section consists of two parts:

First, it prescribes the conditions in which jurisdiction of the High Court arises i.e. there is a case decided by a subordinate Court in which no appeal lies to the High Court. And secondly, it sets out the circumstances in which the jurisdiction may be exercised.

But the power of the High Court is "exercisable in respect of "any case which has been decided".


High Court dismissed the appeal of the applicant stating that the decision given by the trial court that the suits were not maintainable and yet keeping them pending was itself an exercise of jurisdiction with a material irregularity.

If the trial judge had dismissed the suits and passed decrees there would undoubtedly have been appeals and no revision would have lain. But the order actually passed by him was not a decree nor even an order made appealable by s. 104 of the Code.

Involving as it did a clear question of jurisdiction it was revisable and the High Court was within its rights in correcting it by the exercise of its powers under s. 115 of the Code.


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