CPC Case Brief – Municipal Committee Hoshiarpur v. Punjab State Electricity Board (Second Appeal)

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Facts:

  • Municipal Committee took an electricity connection from Punjab State Electricity Board.
  • The average bill for the consumption of electricity came to around 5000 p.m. which was paid regularly.
  • A new bill to the tune of Rs 82, 300 was served to the appellant.
  • Considering the amount was high, the plaintiff filed a suit challenging the said bill.
  • The Board contended that there was a connection problem and the meter was showing only 1/3 of the actual consumption of the energy and once the connection was restored the reading of the meter jumped three times.
  • The appellant contended it again.

Issue:

  • Whether any prejudice needs to be shown by the appellant if no substantial question of law was framed by the High Court and no chance of hearing was given to him?
  • Right to appeal is a creation of statute and it cannot be created by acq of parties or by the order of the Court.
  • The existence of substantial question law is the condition precedent for entertaining the second appeal.
  • In Leela Soni v. Rajesh Goyal, it was held that the power of High Court under section 100 is confined to framing of substantial question of law involved in the second appeal and decides the same.
  • The power under section 103 can be exercised by the High Court only if the core issue involved in the case hasn’t been decided by the trial court or the appellate court and the relevant material is available on record to adjudicate upon the said issue.

Holding:

  • No prejudice needs to be shown.
  • The revised bill could not be held to be showing the correct quantity of energy consumed and hence the findings of the trial court and the first appellate court are correct.
  • The High Court could not decide without forming the substantial question of law and this case could not be warranted under section 103. The judgment and decree of the High Court are set aside.

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