The Apex court has observed that the provisions of Section 144 of the Code of Civil Procedure will not be attracted when there is no variation or reversal of a decree or order. This insulating principle was laid down in the recent case of Bansidhar Sharma(Since Deceased) Vs. The State of Rajasthan.
The very principle of doctrine of restitution is that on the reversal of a decree, the law imposes an obligation on the party to the suit who received the benefit of the decree to make restitution to the other party for what he has lost. This very doctrine has been brought into light in the presiding case before the Supreme Court. In an appeal, the bench comprising Justice Mohan M. Shantangoudar and Justice Ajay Rastogi explained the scope of Section 144 as follows:
“it clearly transpires that section 144 applies to a situation where a decree or order is varied or reversed in appeal, revision or any other proceeding or is set aside or modified in any suit instituted for the purpose. The principle of doctrine of restitution is that on the reversal of a decree, the law imposes an obligation on the party to the suit who received the benefit of the decree to make restitution to the other party for what he has lost. This obligation arises on the reversal or modification of the decree and necessarily carries with it the right to the restitution of all that has been done under the decree which has been set aside or an order is varied or reversed and the Court in making restitution is bound to restore the parties.”
The Supreme Court also noted that there was no decree or order of the trial court by virtue of which the appellant was given possession of the subject property. The possession was handed over to the said appellant of the subject property by the interim order passed by the High Court pending first appeal of which a reference has been made and after the appeal came to be dismissed, its logical consequence ws noticed by the High Court in its judgment dated 20th April, 2018. While dismissing the appeal the bench also said in its judgment regarding Section 144 CPC that in the given circumstances, the provisions of Section 144 CPC are not attracted as there being no variation or reversal of a decree or order as contemplated by Section 144 CPC.