Recording of reasons

Necessity to record reasons by Appellate Court

In this regard Order XLI Rule 31 CPC  reads as follows:

“Order XLI. Appeals from Original Decrees

31. Contents, date and signature of judgment.- The judgment of the Appellate Court shall be in writing and shall state—

(a) the points for determination;

(b) the decision thereon;

(c) the reasons for the decision; and

(d) where the decree appealed from is reversed or varied, the relief to which the appellant is entitled, and shall at the time that it is pronounced be signed and dated by the Judge or by the Judges concurring therein.”

On a perusal of the said Rule, it is quite clear that the judgment of the appellate court has to state the reasons for the decision. It is necessary to make it clear that the approach of the first appellate court while affirming the judgment of the trial Court and reversing the same is founded on different parameters as per the judgments of this Court.

Application of mind

Expression of general agreement with the findings recorded in the judgment under appeal should not be a device or camouflage to be adopted by the appellate court for shirking the duty cast on it. We are disposed to think, the expression of the said opinion has to be understood in proper perspective. By no stretch of imagination it can be stated that the first appellate court can quote passages from the trial court judgment and thereafter pen few lines and express the view that there is no reason to differ with the trial Court judgment. That is not the statement of law expressed by the Court.

…… the first appellate court has a defined role and its judgment should show application of mind and reflect the reasons on the basis of which it agrees with the trial Court. There has to be an “expression of opinion” in the proper sense of the said phrase. It cannot be said that mere concurrence meets the requirement of law. Needless to say, it is one thing to state that the appeal is without any substance and it is another thing to elucidate, analyse and arrive at the conclusion that the appeal is devoid of merit.

[Source: U. Manjunath Rao vs U. Chandrashekar, decided on on 4 August, 2017 by Supreme Court]
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