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Non Speaking Order Dismissing SLP Does Not Attract Doctrine Of Merger, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
22 Dec 2019 8:03 AM GMT
Non Speaking Order Dismissing SLP Does Not Attract Doctrine Of Merger, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]
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"It is well-settled that the dismissal of an SLP against an order or judgment of a lower forum is not an affirmation of the same."

The Supreme Court has reiterated that a non-speaking order dismissing a special leave petition, does not constitute a declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution, nor attracts the doctrine of merger. In P. Singaravelan vs. District Collector, Tiruppur, the issue was in connection with the interpretation of Government Order issued by the State of Tamil Nadu. The court noticed...

The Supreme Court has reiterated that a non-speaking order dismissing a special leave petition, does not constitute a declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution, nor attracts the doctrine of merger.

In P. Singaravelan vs. District Collector, Tiruppur, the issue was in connection with the interpretation of Government Order issued by the State of Tamil Nadu. The court noticed that there are several orders of the supreme Court dismissing SLPs against the grant of relief to drivers, but all of them were passed at the stage of admission itself.

In this context, the bench comprising Justice Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Justice Krishna Murari said:

"It is evident that all the above orders were non-speaking orders, inasmuch as they were confined to a mere refusal to grant special leave to appeal to the petitioners therein. At this juncture, it is useful to recall that it is well-settled that the dismissal of an SLP against an order or judgment of a lower forum is not an affirmation of the same. If such an order of this Court is non-speaking, it does not constitute a declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution, or attract the doctrine of merger."

The bench highlighted the following observation made in Kunhayammed v. State of Kerala:

"An order refusing special leave to appeal may be a non-speaking order or a speaking one. In either case it does not attract the doctrine of merger. An order refusing special leave to appeal does not stand substituted in place of the order under challenge. All that it means is that the Court was not inclined to exercise its discretion so as to allow the appeal being filed."

Therefore, the bench proceeded to decide the appeals uninfluenced by the prior orders of this Court dismissing SLPs. Ultimately, the Court dismissed the appeals. One of the issues was whether the appellants are entitled to claim parity with the drivers who have so far been granted benefits vide the orders of the High Court and the Supreme Court in earlier cases. The bench, in this regard, referred to Basawaraj v. Land Acquisition Officer, (2013) 14 SCC 81, and said:

 It is well-settled by now that a person cannot invoke Article 14 to claim a benefit extended to someone similarly placed if he is not lawfully entitled to such benefit in the first place. Article 14 embodies the concept of positive equality alone, and not negative equality, that is to say, it cannot be relied upon to perpetuate an illegality or irregularity. In fact, this Court has opined that this principle extends to orders passed by judicial fora as well. Thus, the jurisdiction of a higher court cannot be invoked on the basis of a wrong order passed by a lower forum


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