Sikkim High Court Upholds Order Rejecting Revision Petition Against Compromise Deed

Sikkim HC upheld order rejecting revision petition against compromise deed in Prameela Gurung v. Urmila Manger. Pension Act 1871 not applicable in Sikkim. Misrepresentation claim lacked evidence.

In a significant ruling, the Sikkim High Court has upheld an order rejecting a revision petition against a compromise deed under Order XXIII Rule 3 proviso of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC). The case, titled Prameela Gurung v. Urmila Manger and Anr., saw Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan presiding over the bench.

The revision petition was filed by the revisionist, challenging the order of the Civil Judge that dismissed an application under Order XXIII Rule 3 read with Section 151 of the CPC. The revisionist claimed that the compromise deed between the parties violated Section 4 and Section 11 of the Pensions Act of 1871, rendering it void and unlawful.

Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan elucidated the court's stance, stating, "On a plain reading of section 115 as it stands makes it clear that the stress is on the question whether the order in favour of the party applying for revision would have given finality to suit or other proceeding. If the answer is 'yes' then the revision is maintainable. But on the contrary, if the answer is 'no' then the revision is not maintainable."

Advocate Tarun Choudhary represented the revisionist, while Senior Advocate B Sharma appeared for the respondents.

The court deliberated on two main issues: the maintainability of the petition under Section 115 of the CPC and whether the Pension Act of 1871 prohibited the revisionist from entering into a compromise deed.

The revisionist argued that since the Pension Act stipulates the payment of pension to the legal wife of the deceased, the respondents, not being legally wedded wives, were not entitled to it. Consequently, the compromise deed was deemed void.

However, upon inquiry, the court learned that the Pension Act of 1871 had not been extended to Sikkim. Instead, the Sikkim Government Services (Pension) Rules, 1990, and Sikkim Government Services (Revised Pension) Rules, 2010, were in force. Thus, the contention that the Pension Act barred the compromise deed was dismissed by the court.

Regarding the mediation process, the court highlighted its purpose, stating, "Mediation is a process whereby parties attempt to reach an amicable settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a third person referred to as a Mediator." It emphasized that mediators are neutral parties who facilitate settlements, and unless proven otherwise, settlements reached through mediation are valid.

The court further emphasized the importance of specificity in allegations, noting, "Misrepresentation is a positive assertion which must be specifically alleged and proved against a particular person." It concluded that the revisionist's mere assertion of misrepresentation without substantial evidence was insufficient.