Doctrine of Restitution || Sec. 144 || CPC ||
In this article, we will discuss what is restitution under CPC?, what is the doctrine of restitution? Restitution under section 144 of CPC, etc.
Section 144 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, deals with the provisions of restitution. Section 144 of the Code does not confer any new substantive right. It merely regulates the power of the court in that behalf.
Meaning and definition of restitution:-
The expression ‘restitution’ has not been defined in the code anywhere. But the term has a direct mention under Section 144 of the code. It is the restoration of something lost or stolen to its rightful owner. On the other way, restitution means restoring to a party the benefit which the other party has received under a decree subsequently held to be wrong. Why should the benefit under the decree be restored, this can be answered by reading the text of section 144 of the Code.
Doctrine of Restitution:-
Doctrine of restitution means, on the reversal of a decree, the law imposes an obligation on the party to the suit who received an unjust benefit of the erroneous decree to make restitution to the other for what he has lost as far as they can be restored.
Section 144 does not confer any new substantive right. But it merely regulates the power of the court in that behalf. It is the bounden duty of the courts to see that if a person is harmed by a mistake of the court he should be restored to the position he would have occupied but for that mistake.
The jurisdiction to make restitution is inherent in every court and can be exercised whenever justice of the case demands.
Object of the Doctrine:-
The object of the doctrine is based upon the maxim “actus curiae neminem gravabit” which means ‘the act of court shall harm no one’. In the words of Lord Cairns, “one of the first and highest duties of the all courts are to take care that the act of the court does no injury to the suitors”.
Restitution under Section 144 of the Code of Civil Procedure:-
Section 144 of the code mainly talks about two words, Decree and Order. It provides that when either decree or an order has been either of the following:
Conditions for applying:-
Before restitution can be ordered under this section, the following three conditions must be satisfied:-
1. There must be a decree or order which had been reversed or varied;
2. The party must be entitled to benefit under the reversing decree or order; and
3. The relief claimed must be properly consequential on the reversal or variation of the decree or order.
If the above-stated conditions are fulfilled, the court must grant restitution.
Who may apply for restitution?:-
For apply under section a person must satisfy two conditions:
1. He must be a party to the decree or order varied and reversed.
2. He must have become entitled to any benefit by way of restitution or otherwise under the reversing decree or order. Thus, a trespasser cannot get restitution.
Who may grant restitution?:-
As per the explanation, to Sec. 144 (1) an application for restitution lies to the court which has passed the decree or made the order.
The principle of restitution is a natural form of justice and Section 144 is only an embodiment of that principle taking a statutory form. Restitution provides that the benefits received by one party under a decree must be restored to the other party because the decree has become contagious due to the subsequent decree. The court is given broad powers to pass any order in an application for restitution that it may deem fit to meet the ends of justice. Even if a case does not come under section 144 of the CPC, the court has inherent power under Sec. 151 of the code to grant restitution in order to dispense justice to the parties.
Thanks for reading