What is the effective date of Dismissal of an Appeal?

The point is whether the date of dismissal of the appeal relates back to the date of filing of the application for withdrawal of the appeal.

Order XXI Rule 89 (2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (hereinafter referred to as “the CPC”) provides that unless an application filed under Order XXI Rule 90 of the CPC is withdrawn, a person shall not be entitled to make or prosecute an application under Order XXI Rule 89 of the CPC.

In Shiv Prasad v. Durga Prasad (1975) 1 SCC 405 the contention of the Appellant therein that an application filed under the aforesaid Rule 90 does not stand withdrawn until an order to the effect is recorded by the Court, was not accepted. It was held that every applicant has a right to unconditionally withdraw his application and his unilateral act in that behalf is sufficient. No order of the Court is necessary permitting the withdrawal of the application.

The Supreme Court concluded that the act of withdrawal is complete as soon as the applicant intimates the Court that he intends to withdraw the application.

The High Court of Bombay in Anil Dinmani Shankar Joshi v. Chief Officer, Panvel Municipal Council, Panvel AIR 2003 Bom. 238, 239 followed the judgment of this Court in Shiv Prasad (supra) and held that the said judgment is applicable to suits also. The High Court recognized the unconditional right of the plaintiff to withdraw his suit and held that the withdrawal would be 4 (1975) 1 SCC 405 5 AIR 2003 Bom. 238, 239 complete as soon as the plaintiff files his purshis of withdrawal.

Order XXIII Rule 1 (1) of the CPC enables the plaintiff to abandon his suit or abandon a part of his claim against all or any of the defendants. Order XXIII Rule 1 (3) of the CPC requires the satisfaction of the Court for withdrawal of the suit by the plaintiff in case he is seeking liberty to institute a fresh suit. While observing that the word abandonment in Order XXIII Rule 1 (1) of the CPC is “absolute withdrawal” which is different from the withdrawal after taking permission of the court, the Supreme Court held as follows6:

“12. The law as to withdrawal of suits as enacted in the present Rule may be generally stated in two parts:

(a) a plaintiff can abandon a suit or abandon a part of his claim as a matter of right without the permission of the court; in that case he will be precluded from suing again on the same cause of action. Neither can the plaintiff abandon a suit or a part of the suit reserving to himself a right to bring a fresh suit, nor can the defendant insist that the plaintiff must be compelled to proceed with the suit; and

(b) a plaintiff may, in the circumstances mentioned in sub-rule (3), be permitted by the court to withdraw from a suit with liberty to sue afresh on the same cause of action. Such liberty being granted 6 K.S. Bhoopathy v. Kokila (2000) 5 SCC 458 by the Court enables the plaintiff to avoid the bar in Order II Rule 2 and Section 11 CPC.”

Order XXIII Rule 1 (1) of the CPC gives an absolute right to the plaintiff to withdraw his suit or abandon any part of his claim. There is no doubt that Order XXIII Rule 1 of the CPC is applicable to appeals as well and the Appellant has the right to withdraw his appeal unconditionally and if he makes such an application to the Court, it has to grant it.

Category: Interpretation of statutes
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