High Court’s Failure to Frame Substantial Questions of Law: Impact of Respondent No.2’s Death on Appeal

In a significant development, the Supreme Court of India has addressed the issue of the High Court’s failure to frame substantial questions of law before hearing the case involving the impact of Respondent No.2’s death on the appeal. This decision marks a crucial step in ensuring clarity and fairness in the legal process. Stay tuned for updates on this important legal matter. #LegalCase #HighCourt #SubstantialQuestions #LegalIssues


  • Second appeal under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure was admitted by the High Court on 11.06.1990.
  • The High Court admitted the appeal without framing any question of law.
  • The order simply reads ‘Heard.’.

Also Read: Enforcement of Foreign Award: Case of Oscar Investments Limited and RHC Holding Private Limited


  • Identification of substantial questions of law

Also Read: NGOs Substantial Financing Case: Supreme Court’s Judgment on Public Authority Definition


  • The High Court must hear parties after framing substantial questions of law.
  • Order admitting appeal should specify the questions of law on which the appeal is admitted.
  • If no substantial questions of law arise, the appeal must be dismissed.
  • Final hearing of appeal should focus only on substantial questions of law.
  • Substantial questions of law usually framed at the time of dictating judgment.
  • Appeal can only lie if there is a substantial question of law involved.
  • Memorandum of appeal must precisely state the substantial question of law.
  • High Court is duty-bound to formulate substantial questions of law in appeal.
  • Order admitting appeal should clearly indicate the substantial questions of law.
  • Appeal must be heard based on the questions formulated.
  • Court can formulate additional substantial questions of law at final hearing if necessary.
  • Respondent can argue against the formulated substantial questions of law.
  • Court has the power to hear appeal on any substantial questions of law not initially formulated.
  • Court must justify reasons for formulating additional questions of law.
  • An appeal shall lie to the High Court from every decree passed in appeal by any Court subordinate to the High Court if the High Court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law.
  • The appeal shall be heard on the question formulated by the High Court, and the respondent can argue that the case does not involve such question.
  • The Court has the power to hear the appeal on any other substantial question of law not formulated by it if it is satisfied that the case involves such question.
  • The High Court erred in hearing the appeal before framing substantial questions of law.
  • The questions of law were only formulated in the judgment, which was improper.
  • The order of the High Court was set aside due to the failure to frame substantial questions of law before the hearing.

Also Read: Maintenance Rights of Divorced Women: Reconsideration Plea by Mr. Debal Banerjee


  • Respondent no.2 has passed away and his legal representatives were not brought on record.
  • The appeal should not be further delayed and it is left to the High Court to determine the impact of respondent no.2’s death on the appeal.
  • The appeal is allowed with the conditions mentioned earlier.
  • The matter is sent back to the High Court to decide on the legal questions after hearing both parties.
  • The High Court is granted the freedom to reframe the legal questions after the parties have been heard.
  • The High Court is requested to prioritize this case as a second appeal filed in 1990 and handle it accordingly.


Case Number: C.A. No.-005272-005272 / 2010

Click here to read/download original judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *