(Prayer: Petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, praying to set aside the order dated 21.02.2019 passed by the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur, in D.No.1105/2019 in Tr.OP.No.242 of 2017 on the file of the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur.)
1. Office Note has been perused.
2. The petitioners herein filed a suit before the Sub Court, Ponneri. During the pendency of the suit, the petitioners filed an unnumbered I.A. in O.S.No.64 of 2004 and the same was rejected by the Sub Court, Ponneri, as against which, they preferred a revision under Article 227 of the Constitution in C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017.
3. When the said revision was pending before this Court, the very same petitioners filed Tr.O.P.No.242 of 2017 before the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur seeking to transfer the said suit O.S.No.64 of 2004 on the file of the Sub Court, Ponneri to the Sub Court, Poonamallee.
4. The said Tr.O.P. was, on merits, decided by the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur, by order dated 20.03.2018, whereby, the learned Judge has allowed the Tr.O.P., by withdrawing the suit from Sub Court, Ponneri and transferred the same to Sub Court, Poonamallee for disposal in accordance with law.
5. Even though the petitioners having succeeded in his attempt to transfer the suit from Ponneri to Poonamallee as their Tr.O.P. was allowed on 20th March 2018, it is very unfortunate that when the CRP i.e., C.R.P.(PD)No.4294 of 2017 came for hearing before a learned Judge of this Court on 15.11.2018, the counsel appeared for the revision petitioners herein, who are the plaintiffs before the Court below and also, who is the petitioners in the Tr.O.P., not brought to the notice of the learned Judge that the suit has already been transferred from Ponneri Sub Court to Poonamallee Sub Court, pursuant to the allowing of Tr.O.P.No.242 of 2017 by the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur, by order dated 20th March 2018.
6. Therefore, the learned Judge, who disposed of the C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017, by his order dated 15.11.2018, allowed the CRP and gave the following direction:
"3. In the light of the above observation, the order dated 27.10.2017 passed in Unnumbered IA in Original Suit No.64 of 2004 is set aside. Consequently, the learned Sub Ordinate Judge, Ponneri is called upon to direct its Registry to number the application in the Unnumbered IA in Original Suit No.64 of 2004 forthwith and dispose of the same within a period of thirty days. Since, the Trial had almost come to a conclusion, the learned Sub Ordinate Judge shall also endeavour to dispose of the suit itself within a period of 60 days, thereafter. The trial, if required, shall be conducted on a day to day basis.
4. With the above observations, this Civil Revision Petition stands ordered. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is closed. No costs."
7. Though this order was passed on 15.11.2018, the revision petitioners either at the time of passing the order or subsequently, did not raise his voice that, already, the suit, at their instance only, had been transferred from Ponneri to Poonamallee and therefore, if at all any order is given to number the unnumbered O.A. and to try the suit and decide the same on merits within a time frame, as has been directed by the learned Judge in the said revision petition by order dated 15.11.2018 atleast could have referred or mentioned the said factor, but the revision petitioners has failed to do so.
8. Subsequently, also for longer period, nothing had come from the revision petitioners to modify the order or to review the order of this Court made in C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017 dated 15.11.2018, by bringing to the notice of this Court about the development where the suit had been transferred already in the March 2018 itself from Ponneri Sub Court to Poonamallee Sub Court.
9. At this juncture, by order dated 21.02.2019, the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur, in pursuance of the directive issued by this Court, in the order dated 15.11.2018 made in C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017, especially in the operative portion of the order i.e. para 3, as has been extracted above, passed the following order:
"Ref:1. This Court Order in Tr.OP 242/2017 dtd 20.3.2018
2. Hon'ble High Court Madras in CMP(PD)No.4294/2017 and CMP 20200/2017 dated 15.11.2018
3. Letter received from subordinate Judge D.No.84/2019 dated 6.2.2019
4. Office note and orders thereon.
With reference to the above as per the directions of Hon'ble High Court Madras in CRP (PD)4294/2017 and in CMP 20200/2017 dated 15.11.2018 to dispose of the suit OS64/2004 on the file of the Sub Court Ponneri within 60 days the subordinate Judge Ponneri is hereby directed to comply with order of Hon'ble High Court Madras within the stipulated period further the order in TrOP 242/2017 on the file of this Court is recalled.
Principal District and Sessions Judge
10. Felt aggrieved over the present order passed by the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Tiruvallur, dated 21.02.2019 in D.No.1105/2019 dated 21.03.2019, the present revision has been filed where the Office has raised the objection, with regard to the maintainability of this revision, that is how the matter is placed before this Court for consideration as to whether the revision would be maintainable before this Court, especially under Article 227 of the Constitution.
11. I have heard Mr.Subramanian, learned counsel for the petitioners, who would submit that, no doubt, the suit was transferred from Ponneri Sub Court to Poonamallee Sub Court, of course, at the instance of the petitioners, who filed the Tr.O.P.No.242 of 2017 as early as on 20.03.2018 itself. However, subsequently, when the earlier CRP came up for final hearing and disposal on 15.11.2018, mistakenly the development taken place in between i.e., during the pendency of the earlier CRP where the suit itself was got transferred, as said above, was not brought to the notice.
12. The learned counsel would further submit that, on two more reasons, transfer was sought for from Ponneri to Poonamallee, according to him, the first reason was in respect of the procedure adopted by the Presiding Officer, while dealing with the case; the second reason was that, the surcharged atmosphere claimed to have been prevailed in the Court vicinity of Sub Court Ponneri and these are the main two reasons on which the transfer was sought for. The learned counsel would further submit that, having accepted those grounds raised on behalf of the petitioners, since the Principal District Judge has allowed the Tr.O.P. and transferred the suit from Ponneri to Poonamallee, now the present Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur cannot pass an order, through the impugned communication dated 21.02.2019, recalling the earlier order passed in Tr.O.P.No.242 of 2017 dated 20.03.2018.
13. In this context, it is the further submission of the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners that, assuming that, the Presiding Officer against whom some discomfort was felt by the petitioners/ plaintiffs and that was the reason which triggered the petitioners to approach the Principal District Judge by filing Tr.O.P., though the said Presiding Officer i.e., Sub Judge at Ponneri Sub Court had been subsequently transferred and a new Presiding Officer has taken the mandate as of now, atleast the other reason i.e. the surcharged atmosphere, which was felt prevailing in the Sub Court vicinity at Ponneri still may be there and therefore, the petitioners/plaintiffs cannot once again be driven to the Sub Court, Ponneri to pursue their suit. He would further submit that, instead, the suit can be tried at Ponnamallee Sub Court, as has been transferred earlier pursuant to that allowing of Tr.O.P. of the petitioners and in this context, the present order passed by the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur dated 21.02.2019 could not have been issued unilaterally, recalling the earlier order of transfer, which was a Judicial Order, that too, without notice to the petitioners and therefore, on those grounds, certainly the jurisdiction of this Court i.e., superintending jurisdiction vests in this Court under Article 227 can very well be invoked. Therefore, this revision is maintainable, he contended.
14. I have given my anxious consideration to the submissions made by the learned counsel for the petitioners and I have perused the materials placed before this Court.
15. No doubt, the suit has already got transferred from Ponneri to Poonamallee as early as on 20.03.2018 in Tr.O.P.No.242 o 2017, by the order of the Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur.
16. Though the said development had been taken place, of course, during the pendency of the earlier revision petition, which was pending before this Court, at that time, when the said revision came up for hearing before a learned Judge of this Court, on 15.11.2018, the petitioners had appeared and argued the case and got a disposal of the CRP, of course, in their favour. However, the petitioners did not bring to the notice of the Court that the suit has already got transferred, therefore, direction cannot be given to the Subordinate Judge, Ponneri.
17. Assuming that, at the time of disposal of the C.R.P. i.e., on 15.11.2018, if the petitioners or their counsel did not act upon to bring the said factor to the notice of the Court and accordingly, a direction was given by the learned Judge on 15.11.2018, while allowing the earlier CRP, giving direction to the Sub Judge, Ponneri to take up the suit and try the same, subsequently atleast a remedial measure can be taken to seek for review of the said order dated 15.11.2018 as it is one of the case where such review can be sought for, since during the pendency of the revision, the suit was transferred and therefore, based on which, a suitable direction could have been given to the Sub Judge, Poonamallee to try the suit.
18. However, no such attempt seems to have been made and no such petitions have been filed before this Court and therefore, this Court is of the view that the petitioners themselves, having receipt of an order in the said C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017, had been satisfied and only in that context, they had not done anything to make any rectification, as has been indicated above.
19. Insofar as the said direction given by this Court dated 15.11.2018 by a learned Judge in C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017 is concerned, that has become final, therefore, that order has to be necessarily followed and punctually executed by all concerned and only in order to execute the said order and to obey the said order, the learned Principal District Judge, Tiruvallur, by his impugned communication dated 21.02.2019, recalled the earlier order dated 20.03.2018 passed in Tr.O.P.No.242 of 2017 and directed that, the said suit i.e., O.S.No.64 of 2004 on the file of the Sub Court, Ponneri shall continue to be heard by the Sub Judge, Ponneri. Therefore, this Court feels that the learned Principal District Judge had no other option except to pass such order, as the directive issued by this Court dated 15.11.2018 in C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017 has to be necessarily executed and obeyed.
20. Moreover, the main reason seems to have been made by the petitioners who sought to transfer the suit from Ponneri to Poonamallee was some discomfort felt by the plaintiffs against the then Presiding Officer, but the fact remains that he has got transferred and a new incumbent has come, ther
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efore, that main reason has gone. 21. Insofar as the surcharged atmosphere, as claimed by the learned counsel for the petitioners, said to have been prevailed in the vicinity of the Sub Court is concerned, this Court is of the considered view that, the said reason can no longer be a valid reason for seeking any transfer, unless the acceptable material is filed before this Court to substantiate such allegation. 22. However, the learned counsel for the petitioners submits that a CMP has been filed in the disposed C.R.P.(PD).No.4294 of 2017, but, that yet to be numbered and taken up for hearing. However, the said factor would not detain this Court to give answer to the maintainability question raised herein. 23. In that view of the matter, this Court feels that, the petitioners cannot invoke the superintending power of this Court under Article 227, on the aforesaid issue, in view of the peculiar facts and circumstances discussed above. Therefore, the Office objection raised, with regard to the maintainability of the revision is acceptable and it is sustained. Hence, the question of maintainability is answered accordingly and the Registry is directed to return the case papers to the learned counsel for the petitioners, after getting due acknowledgment from him.