Supreme Court Rules Against Clubbing Proceedings With Different Scopes Of Consideration

Posted On - 15 May, 2023 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

In the case of Seethamal And Anr. v. Narayanasamy And Ors.[1], a civil suit was filed for a declaration and injunction claiming ownership of a property, which was dismissed, and subsequent appeals were also dismissed. Another suit for partition was filed by the same party, which included the same property as in the first suit. The suit for partition was allowed, and a regular first appeal was pending. The High Court clubbed and considered both the appeals by passing a common judgment, which the Supreme Court found inappropriate as the considerations in the two appeals were entirely different.

The Court stated that if the prior partition was not proved in the second suit, the finding against the oral partition in the earlier suit would have sustained itself. The Court requested the High Court to refer the matters to mediation and consider them independently if mediation failed.

Factual Background

The case involved two suits filed in 1996 and 2001, respectively, in the Madras High Court, both involving the same parties and common property. The first suit was for declaration and injunction, which was dismissed in 1998, and a regular first appeal was filed against the order, which was disallowed in 1999. A second appeal was then filed challenging the same. In 2001, another suit was filed seeking partition and separate possession of properties, which included the property involved in the 1996 suit.

The suit for partition was allowed, and subsequently, a regular first appeal was filed. However, when both appeals were taken up for consideration by the Madras High Court, they were disposed of by a common judgment, which was challenged in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court observed that the considerations to be made in the case of a first appeal and a second appeal are entirely different and remanded the appeals back to the High Court to be considered independently. The court also requested the High Court to refer the matters to mediation before deciding them expeditiously.


The Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of treating first appeals and second appeals as distinct proceedings, even if they involve the same parties and property in dispute. The court has made it clear that the considerations to be made in these two appeals are entirely different, and hence they should be de-linked and considered independently. The court has also suggested the use of mediation as a means of resolving disputes before resorting to litigation, in order to expedite the resolution of the matter. Overall, the case highlights the need for courts to follow established regulations and procedures while adjudicating disputes, in order to ensure fairness and justice for all parties involved.

[1]Civil Appeal No. 6300-6301 of 2016