No Superior Court Can Command Subordinate Court To Pass A Particular Order: SC [Read Judgment]

High Court had no jurisdiction to direct the Sessions Judge to "allow" the application for grant of bail, said the Bench.

No superior court in hierarchical jurisdiction can issue direction/mandamus to any subordinate court commanding them to pass a particular order on any application filed by any party, the Supreme Court said Thursday while reiterating that the judicial independence of a court cannot be interfered with by any court, including the superior court.

Justice R K Agrawal and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre said so while setting aside the order of the Rajasthan High Court wherein a single judge had directed two revisionists in a case of alleged kidnapping and rape of a minor to appear before the sessions court for regular bail and went to the extent of directing the sessions court to grant them bail on the same day.

“The judicial independence of every court in passing the orders in cases is well settled. It cannot be interfered with by any court, including superior court.

“Even while remanding the case to the subordinate Court, the Superior Court cannot issue a direction to the subordinate Court to either “allow” the case (bail) or “reject” it. If any such directions are issued, it would amount to usurping the powers of that Court and would amount to interfering in the discretionary powers of the subordinate Court. Such order is, therefore, not legally sustainable,” the apex court held, while setting aside the part of the high court order which directed Sessions court to allow the bail application of the revisionists.

“In either case, i.e., to grant or reject, the Sessions Judge has to apply his independent judicial mind and accordingly pass appropriate reasoned order keeping in view the facts involved in the case and the legal principles applicable for grant/rejection of the bail. In this case, the Single Judge failed to keep in his mind this legal principle,” Justice Sapre said.

The court order comes on an appeal against the Rajasthan High Court order dated April 28 whereby the court had set aside the Sessions court order by which non-bailable warrants were issued against two men named Ashish Meena and Vimal Meena.

The instant case revolved round an FIR registered in the year 2014 on the complaint of Madan Mohan, the appellant before the apex court.

Two accused Vimlesh Kumar and Janak Singh are facing trial for the offences punishable under sections 120-B, 363, 366, 368, 370 (4) and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, read with Section 3/4 and 16/17 of POCSO Act. The trial is pending in the Court of District and Sessions Judge, Sawai Madhopur.

Madan Mohan had filed an application under Section 193 of the Code in the Sessions court complaining that though the names of respondent Nos.2 and 3 - Ashish Meena and Vimal Meena figured prominently in all the material documents filed along with the charge sheet, yet for no justifiable reasons, their names were deleted from the charge sheet, whereas only the names of two accused, i.e., Vimlesh and Janak Singh were retained to face the trial.

He prayed that Ashish and Vimal be summoned to face trial.

The Sessions judge on November 19, 2016, allowed his application and summoned Ashish and Vimal by issuing non-bailable warrant of arrest against them.

Ashish and Vimal moved a criminal revision before the Rajasthan High Court, but Madan Mohan was impleaded as party.

Allowing their revision in part, the high court set aside the part of the Sessions court order which directed issuance of non-bailable warrant while summoning them.

The high court then proceeded to issue further direction to Ashish and Vimal to surrender before the trial court and move the application for their regular bail, which would be considered and allowed by that court on the same day on which it is moved.

Further liberty was granted to them to raise the contentions at the time of framing of the charges.

On Madan Mohan’s appeal against this order, the apex court said, “In our considered opinion, the Single Judge seemed to have passed the impugned order without application of judicial mind inasmuch as he committed two glaring errors while passing the order.”

“First, he failed to see that the complainant at whose instance the Sessions Judge had passed the order and had allowed his application under Section 193 of the Code was a necessary party to the criminal revision along with the State. Therefore, he should have been impleaded as respondent along with the State in the revision,” it said.

The second error was the high court giving direction to the Sessions judge to consider the bail application of Ashish and Vimal and “allow” it on the “same day”.

“In our considered opinion, the High Court had no jurisdiction to direct the Sessions Judge to "allow" the application for grant of bail. Indeed, once such direction had been issued by the High Court then what was left for the Sessions Judge to decide except to follow the directions of the High Court and grant bail to respondent Nos. 2 and 3. In other words, in compliance to the mandatory directions issued by the High Court, the Sessions Judge had no jurisdiction to reject the bail application but to allow it,”’ Justice Sapre remarked.

The bench directed that both Ashish and Vimal will surrender before the trial court, which will decide their bail applications on its merits.

Read the Judgment