Mohamed Imranullah S.

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has dismissed a civil revision petition filed by the Governing Council of the American College here against the continuation of M. Davamani Christopher, son in-law of A. Christopher Asir, the Bishop of Church of South India, Madurai-Ramnad Diocese, as the Bursar of the educational institution.

Justice R.S. Ramanathan held that the Governing Council, which was aggrieved over an interim order passed by the second Additional Subordinate Court here on January 28 permitting Mr. Davamani Christopher to continue as Bursar, ought to have filed an appeal under the Code of Civil Procedure and not a revision petition by invoking Article 227 of the Constitution.

The judge recalled that the Supreme Court in 2003 held that the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 227 could be exercised only to keep subordinate courts within the bounds of their jurisdiction. The power of the High Court could be invoked when lower courts exercised their jurisdiction in a manner not permitted by law or if there was failure of justice.

The apex court had further held that “the supervisory jurisdiction should be exercised sparingly and only in appropriate cases where the judicial conscience of the High Court dictates it to act lest a gross failure of justice or grave injustice should occasion… The High Courts could also refuse to exercise the jurisdiction when an alternative efficacious remedy of appeal was available.”

In the present case, there was no apparent error on the face of the record and the lower court order was not perverse because it had been passed on the basis of certain documentary evidence. Hence, the Governing Council had not proved any exceptional circumstances for reversing the lower court order by invoking Article 227, Mr. Justice Ramanathan said.

He pointed out that there was no dispute over the fact that Mr. Christopher functioned as Bursar of the College between June 3, 2006 and May 31, 2008. It was only after this period, the Governing Council claimed to have appointed another person to the post while Mr. Christopher filed a civil suit contending that the alleged appointment was invalid and hence he was entitled to continue in the post.

The subordinate court had granted an interim injunction restraining the Governing Council from interfering with the functioning of Mr. Christopher as Bursar.

The order was passed based on material evidences to prove that he continued to hold the post. “However, I make it clear that I am not giving any opinion on the finding of the lower court and it is always open to the petitioners to challenge the same in the appellate forum as provided under the Civil Procedure Code,” Mr. Justice Ramanathan added.