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Municipal Corporation of City v. Shiv Shankar Gauri Shankar Mehta (1998) 9 SCC 197


  • Whether the statements made by the high Court after answering the questions referred to it by rejecting the references, binding on the parties?


  • Section 113 CPC deals with References made to High Court. It states that any Court may state a case and refer the same for the opinion of the High Court, and the High Court may make such order thereon as it thinks fit.
  • Order 46 rule 3 of CPC states that once the HC has heard the parties, it shall decide the point so referred and shall transmit a copy of its judgment, under the signature of the Registrar, to the Court by which the Reference was made. Such Court shall, on the receipt thereof, proceed to dispose of the case in conformity with the decision of the High Court.


  • A Corporation functioning under the provisions of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1949, sought to enforce a road line.
  • The Act provided for issuing public notices calling for objections from those who were likely to be affected by the laying down of these road lines.
  • Consequently, notices under Section 212, sub-section (1)(b) of the Act were issued to the owners of the properties who were likely to be affected by the said exercises to be undertaken by the Corporation.
  • Such notices were also issued to the occupiers of the properties who may be the tenants in actual possession of those properties and who were also likely to be affected by the demolition of the part of the premises occupied by them.
  • These notices resulted in the filing of a number of suits in the City Civil Court.
  • The Civil Judge framed two points for decision of the High Court and made them the subject matter of the Reference under Section 113 read with Order 46 CPC.
  • The high court rejected the Reference. While doing so, it made a statement in para 7 which were unrelated to the subject matter of the Reference. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed a Special Leave Petition in the SC.


  • The supreme Court rendered para 7 of the HC decision unnecessary and stated that Once the High Court had answered the questions referred to it by rejecting the references, nothing further survived for the High Court to decide.
  • The Court further stated that it must be held that on the combined operation of Section 113 and Order 46 Rule 3 CPC and also in the light of peculiar facts and circumstances of these cases as seen earlier, the impugned observations had no legal effect on the result of the suits in connection with which they were made.