Right of appeal is a creature of statute, for the right of appeal inheres in no one and, therefore, for maintainability of an appeal there must be authority of law. This being the position a provision providing for appeal should neither be construed too strictly nor too liberally, for if given either of these extreme interpretations, it is bound to adversely affect the legislative object as well as hamper the proceedings before the appropriate forum. Needless to say, a right of appeal cannot be assumed to exist unless expressly provided for by the statute and a remedy of appeal must be legitimately traceable to the statutory provisions. If the express words employed in a provision do not provide an appeal from a particular order, the court is bound to follow the express words. To put it otherwise, an appeal for its maintainability must have the clear authority of law and that explains why the right of appeal is described as a creature of statute.
The court makes available the right to appeal in case of a composite order which it illustrates thus in Arcot Textile Mills Ltd. v. Regl. Provident Fund Commr., (2013) 16 SCC 1 in context of The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952:
- At this stage, it is necessary to clarify the position of law which does arise in certain situations. The competent authority under the Act while determining the monies due from the employee shall be required to conduct an inquiry and pass an order. An order under Section 7-A is an order that determines the liability of the employer under the provisions of the Act and while determining the liability the competent authority offers an opportunity of hearing to the establishment concerned. At that stage, the delay in payment of the dues and component of interest are determined. It is a composite order. To elaborate, it is an order passed under Sections 7-A and 7-Q together. Such an order shall be amenable to appeal under Section 7-I. The same is true of any composite order a facet of which is amenable to appeal and Section 7-I of the Act. But, if for some reason when the authority chooses to pass an independent order under Section 7-Q the same is not appealable.
Please see the following judgments: Arcot Textile Mills Ltd. v. Regl. Provident Fund Commr., (2013) 16 SCC 1; Ganga Bai v. Vijay Kumar [(1974) 2 SCC 393], Gujarat Agro Industries Co. Ltd. v. Municipal Corpn. of the City of Ahmedabad [(1999) 4 SCC 468], State of Haryana v. Maruti Udyog Ltd. [(2000) 7 SCC 348], Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. v. State of U.P. [(2009) 10 SCC 531], Raj Kumar Shivhare v. Directorate of Enforcement [(2010) 4 SCC 772], Competition Commission of India v. SAIL [(2010) 10 SCC 744] )
Author: Vikrant Narayan Vasudeva