1. Petitioner M/s R.C. Gupta & Sons is aggrieved by an order, dt. 16th June, 1976 passed by the Commissioner, Allahabad Division, Allahabad, in Appeal No. 90 of 1975-76 (Farrukhabad) filed under Section 18, Arms Act. It has accordingly approached this Court for relief under Article 226 of the Constitution.
2. Petitioner carried on business as arms and ammunition dealer in the city of Farrukhabad under a licence issued to it under the provisions of the Arms Act. On 30-9-1975, office of the District Magistrate, Farrukhabad issued a notice requiring the petitioner to show cause why the licence granted to it be not revoked on various grounds specified therein. In due course, the petitioner submitted its reply and the District Magistrate, Farrukhabad, by its order, dt. 22-1-1976 directed that the licence issued to the petitioner in Form No. 14' (licence for sale custody) be cancelled. Aggrieved, the petitioner filed an appeal (Appeal No. 90 of 1975-76) under Section 18, Arms Act, before the Commissioner, Allahabad Division, Allahabad. The Commissioner found that the Collector had omitted to consider certain relevant salient factors in determining whether or not the grounds on which petitioner's licence was sought to be revoked existed. He observed that it was necessary that the entire case should be, looked into by the District Magistrate again very carefully and that the District Magistrate should get the matter enquired into again in detail by a competent Magistrate taking care to reconcile the discrepancies pointed out by him and to pass a fresh order, after taking into consideration the report of the fresh enquiry and any fresh fact brought out. In the result, he remanded the case to the District Magistrate, Farrukhabad. He further directed that petitioner's arms licence was to remain suspended till re-disposal of the case by the District Magistrate, Farrukhabad.
3. On behalf of the petitioner, it is contended that while disposing of the appeal the Commissioner, Allahabad Division, neither had the authority to remand the matter for fresh enquiry to the District Magistrate nor could he direct that petitioner's licence should remain suspended pending re-disposal of the case by the District Magistrate.
4. We will first of all deal with the second submission made by the learned Counsel for the petitioner. The direct consequence of the order of the Commissioner of Allahabad Division, Allahabad, directing petitioner's arms licence to remain suspended till re-disposal of the case by the District Magistrate is that petitioner's arms licence stands suspended pending enquiry by the District Magistrate into the question as to whether or not the same should be cancelled or revoked. In the case of Chhanga Prasad Sahu v. State of U.P. reported in 1984 All WC145 : 1986 Cri LJ 817 a Full Bench of this Court has ruled that under the provisions of the Arms Act, it is not open to the authorities to suspend an arms licence pending enquiry into the question as to whether or not the same deserves to be revoked. In this view of the matter, the part of the impugned order directing suspension of petitioner's licence pending further enquiry by the District Magistrate cannot be countenanced and deserves to be quashed.
5. We now proceed to consider the question as to whether or not the Commissioner, Allahabad Division, while dealing with an appeal filed before him under Section 18, Arms Act, could remand the case to the Collector for fresh trial in the light of the observations made by him. Relevant portion of Section 18, Arms Act, which confers appellate power on the Commissioner runs thus : -
(1) Any person aggrieved by an order of the licensing authority refusing to grant a licence or varying the conditions of a licence or by an order of the licensing authority or the authority to whom the licensing authority is subordinate, suspending or revoking a licence may prefer an appeal against that order to such authority (hereinafter referred to as the appellate authority) and within such period as may be prescribed:
5. In disposing of an appeal the appellate authority shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed.
7. Every order of the appellate authority confirming, modifying or reversing the order appealed against shall be final.
6. Learned Counsel for the petitioner contended that the right of appeal conferred by Section 18, Arms Ac): has been created by statute and as such the appellate authority, which is a creature of statute could exercise only such power and jurisdiction as has been conferred upon it by Section 18. The section merely empowers the appellate authority either to confirm or to modify or to reverse the order appealed against. It does not authorise the appellate authority to send the case back to the authority which passed the order appealed against for making any further inquiry into the matter. He relied upon the following observations made in the case of S.D.O. Faizabad v. S. N. Singh :
The Gaon Sabha is the creature of statute. Its powers and duties as well as powers and duties of its officers are all regulated by the Act. Hence no question of any inherent power arises for consideration, see Smt. Hira Devi V. District Board, Shahjahanpur,
and urged that as the Commissioner heating the appeal under Section 18, Arms Act, is not a court and has merely been authorised to act within the ambit and scope of the powers conferred upon him under the Arms Act, no question of exercising any inherent powers by him arises. The submission made on behalf of the State Counsel, which is strongly refuted by the learned Counsel for the petitioner, on the other hand, is that even where the power of remand has (not?) been specifically conferred upon an appellate authority, the appellate authority can proceed to remand the case to the original authority in exercise of its inherent powers. Further, in any case, the appellate powers conferred by Section 18, Arms Act, is wide enough to include within its ambit the power to, in a suitable case, remand the case to the original authority for fresh determination and thus it can be said that the power to remand a case is implicit in the appellate power.
7. In support of his submission that the appellate court or authority does not possess any inherent power to remand a matter to the court/authority which dealt with the matter originally, learned Counsel for the petitioner relied upon a Full Bench decision of this Court in the case of Manni Lal v. Emperor AIR 1937 All 305 : 1937-38 Cri LJ 561. In that case while considering the question whether a court hearing an appeal under Section 476-B against the action of the original court in lodging the complaint regarding commission of offences of the nature referred to in Section 195(1), Clause (b) or (c) in relation to a proceeding in that court, it had any inherent jurisdiction to remand the case for further inquiry, Sulaiman, J. observed thus:
With great respect, I do not think that an appellate Court can invoke the aid of its inherent jurisdiction in ordering a subordinate Court to do something in a case. In the first place, new categories of inherent jurisdiction should not be invented, particularly if prior to 1923 no appeal was at all permissible. In the second place, the inherent jurisdiction is generally confined to the proceedings before the appellate Court and does not include an authority to issue orders to the Court below directing it to do something in the case. If such inherent powers were invoked, then the provisions of the Code would become quite unnecessary.
Hon. Niamutullah, J. with whom Bennet J. agreed, pointed out that Section 476-B, Cr. P.C. provided for an appeal by an aggrieved person where a civil, revenue or criminal court had made or refused to make a complaint under Section 476 or Section 476-A, Cr. P.C. It empowered the superior Court to direct the withdrawal of the complaint or itself to make the complaint which the subordinate court might, have made. While dealing with the question whether the setting in which Section 476-B appeared in the Criminal P.C. it conferred any power on the appellate court to remand the case to the subordinate court for further inquiry and reconsideration of its decision, the learned Judge went on to observe thus:
... It is clear to me that, where the subordinate Court has made a complaint under Section 476, it cannot, on reconsideration, withdraw the complaint already made. It is only the superior court acting under Section 476-B, that can order the withdrawal of the complaint. It follows that Section 476-B does not contemplate a power of remand in the appellate Court by the subordinate Court, where the superior Court is moved to withdraw the complaint. In such a case the appellate Court may take additional evidence and may order the withdrawal of the complaint.
It is, therefore, apparent that the majority did not subscribe to the observations made by Sulaiman, J. (quoted above). Instead, they proceeded to decide the question in the light of special provisions contained in Section 476-B, Cr. P.C. and held that in the context and for the reasons stated by them, the appellate power conferred by Section 476-B did not contemplate any power in the appellate court to remand the case for further inquiry and reconsideration by the subordinate court. They did not rule that in no circumstance --can a power to remand a case, inhere or be implicit in the appellate court. Be that as it may, in view of the decision of Supreme Court in S.D.O. Faizabad's case (supra), it is apparent that the
Commissioner who has been empowered to decide an appeal under Section 18, Arms Act, not being a court, cannot rely upon any inherent powers to make any order of the nature not stipulated by Section 18 Arms Act, and it is not necessary for us to dwell on the wider question as to whether or not such a power generally inheres in an appellate court.
8. Answer to the question whether or not the Commissioner dealing with an appeal under Section 18, Arms Act, had jurisdiction to remand the case for fresh inquiry and determination would depend upon the amplitude of the appellate power conferred upon him by the section either specifically or by necessary implication. A power implied in or by a statutory provision is not to be confused with inherent power of courts. Whereas the implied power flows from the construction of statutory provision itself, the inherent power of the court resides in it by the very nature of its constitution and independently of any statute.
9. Sub-section (1) of Section 18 merely lays down that any party aggrieved by an order of a licensing authority suspending or revoking a licence may prefer an appeal to the appellate authority. It does not specifically lay down the extent and ambit of the order that may be made by the appellate authority. According to the petitioner, Sub-section (7) which provides that every order of the appellate authority confirming, modifying or reversing the order appealed against, shall be final indicates that the eventual order passed by the appellate authority must either confirm or modify or reverse the order appealed against and that the appellate authority is precluded from passing any order of a different nature.
10. We are unable to construe the provisions of Section 18, Arms Act, in the manner suggested by the petitioner. Sub-section (7) of Section 18 merely provides that if an appellate authority, while disposing of the appeal, makes an order confirming, modifying or reversing the order appealed against, it shall be final. The section does not limit the power of the appellate authority to pass any other type of order which may be open to it under the law for getting the controversy raised before it resolved properly and effectively and in the light of purpose underlying the provisions contained in the Arms Act.
11. The question, therefore, that arises for consideration is as to whether in a case where a statute confers a right of appeal and creates an appellate authority without limiting its jurisdiction to the making of orders of specified nature only, the jurisdiction to make an order remanding the case to the original authority for dealing with the case afresh falls within the ambit of its appellate power.
12. In the case of N. K. Dharamadas v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal of Kerala , a Full Bench of the Kerala High Court had an occasion to consider the question whether the State Transport Appellate Tribunal could, while dealing with an appeal under Section 64 Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, order and remand the case for fresh disposal to the Regional Transport Authority, and observed thus : --
Section 64, Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, only says that the persons specified therein may, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, appeal to the prescribed authority who shall give such persons and the original authority an opportunity of being heard. A power of remand is not specifically mentioned in the Section. But as pointed out by the Supreme Court in Ram Gopal v. Anant Prasad , Section 64 is not concerned with
defining the powers of the appellate authority and does not purport to do so.
The learned Judges then went on to consider the nature and purpose of filing an appeal and in that connection made following observations:
An appeal is a complaint to a superior body of an injustice done or error committed by an inferior one with a view to its correction or reversal. It is a creature of statute, not a constitutional or inherent right. But, as pointed out by Maxwell, where an Act confers a jurisdiction, it impliedly also grants the power of doing all such acts, or employing such means, as are essentially necessary to its execution....
A remand by an appellate court is usually made when the record before it is in such shape that the appellate court cannot in justice determine what final judgment should be rendered and the power to do so cannot but be an essential requisite of the very jurisdiction to entertain the appeal. It is an old maxim of the law that to whomsoever a jurisdiction is given, those things also are supposed to be granted, without which the jurisdiction cannot be exercised; cuit jurisdiction data est, eq quoque concessa essee videntur, sine quibus jurisdiction explicari non potest.
Kent says that the grant of a jurisdiction implies the grant of all the powers necessary to its exercise (1 Kent, Comm 339). And Sutherland that where a statute confers powers or duties in general terms, all powers and duties incidental and necessary to make such legislation effective are included by implication 3rd Edition, Vol 3, page 19.
It is unnecessary to pursue the discussion any further. We entertain no doubt that a power to remand is available to a tribunal functioning under Section 64, Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, that the said power is incidental to and implicit in the appellate jurisdiction created by that section, and that the learned Judge's decision to the contrary cannot be sustained. We decide accordingly.
The right of the appellate court, dealing with an appeal under Section 64, Motor Vehicles Act, to remand a case to the original authority was recognised by a Full Bench of the M.P. High Court in the case of Surendra Mohan Chaurasiya v. State Transport Appellate Authority M.P. Gwalior , but a rider was added that the State
Transport Appellate Authority should remand the case only if it finds that the material on record before it is insufficient and that further inquiry which is necessary is such as cannot be conveniently undertaken by the appellate authority. Likewise, a Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the case of M/s Thimmasamudram Tobacco Co. v. Asstt. Collector of Central Excise, Nellore , while dealing with the ambit of appellate authority under Section 35, Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, observed thus : -
It is true that the section speaks only of the appellate authority passing such order as he thinks fit, confirming, altering or annulling the decision or order appealed against and there is no specific provision enabling the appellate authority to remit the matter to the original authority for making an inquiry afresh. We do not think that the absence of such provision disables the appellate authority from sending the matter back to the officer that passed the order.
The conferment of the appellate jurisdiction on a tribunal, in our opinion, necessarily implies that it has as much power to remand as it has to confirm, alter or annul and incidentally it has the power to hear the appeal. Without such power it is difficult for the appellate authority to dispose of an appeal satisfactorily. If the appellate authority finds that the procedure prescribed by a provision of law has been violated by an officer he has either to allow the appeal without directing any fresh inquiry or dismiss the appeal, if the argument of the appellant's counsel were to prevail and this cannot be regarded as a satisfactory state of affairs. We, therefore, feel that the power of remand is inherent in the appellate jurisdiction conferred on an appellate authority.
We are inclined to think that while mentioning that in their opinion, the power of remand is inherent in the appellate jurisdiction conferred on the appellate authority, what the learned Judges meant was not that the appellate authority possesses certain inherent powers but that such a power was implied or implicit in the very nature of the appellate power conferred by the Act. We find that like Section 64,
Motor Vehicles Act, Section 18 Arms Act, also does not define the amplitude of the appellate powers. Accordingly where the procedure adopted by the original authority is such that the appellate authority is, on the basis of the material brought on record by the original authority, not in a position to resolve the controversy appropriately, it can exercise its appellate power to send the case back to the original authority for a fresh decision after making further inquiry and in such a case, unless the appellate powers have been defined or circumscribed by the statute itself, it shall be taken that the power to remand a case for further inquiry is implicit in the appellate authority.
13. In view of aforesaid discussion, we are unable to accept the submission of the petitioner that the impugned order, in so far as it sends the case back to the district Magistrate for passing fresh order after making further inquiry, suffers from any error of jurisdiction.
14. In the result, the petition succeeds and is allowed in part. The impugned order of the Commissioner, only in so far as it directs that the petitioner's licence shall remain suspended till re-disposal of the case by the District Magistrate, Farrukhabad, is quashed; but the order in so far as it requires the District Magistrate to get the matter inquired into again in detail by a competent Magistrate taking care of the discrepansies pointed out and thereafter to pass an order afresh taking into consideration the report of the fresh inquiry and any fresh facts brought out is sustained. Parties are directed to bear their own costs. Stay order dated 13-8-1976 is vacated.