Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

SC Cautions Itself Against Making 'Casual & Cavalier' References To Constitution Bench [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
14 Nov 2019 2:21 AM GMT
SC Cautions Itself Against Making Casual & Cavalier References To Constitution Bench [Read Judgment]
x
"Article 145(3)mandates a responsibility upon this Court not to indulge in excessive academic endeavors and preserve precious judicial time, and effectively dispense justice in a timely fashion."

While refusing to refer Karnataka MLAs Disqualification case to larger bench, the Supreme Court cautioned itself against making 'casual and cavilier' references to Constitutional Benche. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, referring to Article 145 (3) of the Constitution, had made a submission that the Court is mandated under law to refer the matters to a larger bench since a substantial question...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

While refusing to refer Karnataka MLAs Disqualification case to larger bench, the Supreme Court cautioned itself against making 'casual and cavilier' references to Constitutional Benche.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, referring to Article 145 (3) of the Constitution, had made a submission that the Court is mandated under law to refer the matters to a larger bench since a substantial question of law concerning the interpretation of the Constitution has arisen in the instant case.

While considering the said plea, the three judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said that no such question arises in this case. However, it noted that the requirements under Article 145(3) of the Constitution have never been dealt with extensively by the Court. It said:

"More often than not, have received mere lip service, wherein this Court has found existence of case laws which have already dealt with the proposition involved, and have rejected such references. Normatively, this trend requires consideration in appropriate cases, to ensure that unmeritorious references do not unnecessarily consume precious judicial time in the Supreme Court"

Taking note of two phrases viz. 'substantial question of law' and 'interpretation of the Constitution' occurring in Article 145(3), the bench said two conditions need to be satisfied before a matter is referred to Constitution Bench

i. The Court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution;

ii. The determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case

The court added that every case of constitutional interpretation need not be referred to a Constitutional Bench. It added:

"Any question of law of general importance arising incidentally, or any ancillary question of law having no significance to the final outcome, cannot be considered as a substantial question of law. The existence of substantial question of law does not weigh on the stakes involved in the case, rather, it depends on the impact the question of law will have on the final determination. If the questions having a determining effect on the final outcome have already been decided by a conclusive authority, then such questions cannot be called as "substantial questions of law". In any case, no substantial question of law exists in the present matter, which needs reference to a larger bench. The cardinal need is to achieve a judicial balance between the crucial obligation to render justice and the compelling necessity of avoiding prolongation of any lis"

The Court referring to Abdul Rahim Ismail C. Rahimtoola v. State of Bombay, Bhagwan Swarup Lal Bishan Lal v. State of Maharashtra, and People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v. Union of India, (2003) 4 SCC 399 observed that question of constitutional interpretation would arise only if two or more possible constructions are sought to be placed on a provision. It added:

"Casual and cavalier references should not be undertaken by this Court in view of conditions prescribed under Article 145(3) of the Constitution, which mandates a responsibility upon this Court not to indulge in excessive academic endeavors and preserve precious judicial time, and effectively dispense justice in a timely fashion."

Click here to Read/Download Judgment



Next Story
Share it