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State Legislature Cannot Enact Law Providing Direct Appeal To Supreme Court: SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
15 Oct 2019 9:11 AM GMT
State Legislature Cannot Enact Law Providing Direct Appeal To Supreme Court: SC [Read Judgment]
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The Supreme Court has held that a State Legislature cannot enact a law providing an appeal directly to the Supreme Court of India.

The bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose struck down Section 13(2) of Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011, in so far as it provides an appeal directly to the Supreme Court, holding that the same is totally illegal, ultra vires the Constitution and beyond the scope of the powers of the State Legislature. 

Apparently, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Ravindra Bhat is set to consider the very same issue shortly in Rajendra Diwan vs. Pradeep Kumar Ranibala.

Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011 provides for an appeal to the Supreme Court of India against the order of the Rent Control Tribunal, Chhattisgarh. The Act mandates the State to appoint Rent Controllers in every district who shall be an officer not below the rank of a Deputy Collector. The Rent Control Tribunal is an appellate forum before which orders of the Rent Controller can be challenged. Chairman of the Tribunal is a District Judge.

While considering an appeal filed against an order passed by the Tribunal, the Court issued notice to the Advocate General of the State of Chhattisgarh and the Attorney General for India to address the issue whether the State Legislature can enact a law providing an appeal directly to the Supreme Court of India.

Referring to various constitutional provisions and entries in the schedule, the bench held that an appeal under Section 13 (2) of the Act directly to the Supreme Court is not maintainable. It made these observations:

A bare reading of Entry 65 clearly indicates that the State Legislature has no power to enact any legislation relating to jurisdiction and power of the Supreme Court. This power is specifically excluded.


Even Entry 46 makes it clear that as far as the jurisdictional powers of the Supreme Court are concerned, they cannot be exercised under the Concurrent List. Therefore, the powers with regard to jurisdiction and power of the Supreme Court vest with the Union and Parliament alone can enact a legislation in this regard. The power of the Supreme Court under Article 136 is always there. However, the State cannot enact a legislation providing an appeal directly to the Supreme Court. That would amount to entrenching upon the jurisdiction of the Union, which the State Legislature does not have.


We are constrained to observe that the men who drafted the Act did not even consider the hierarchy of Courts. As pointed above, the Rent Control Tribunal is headed by a retired Judge of the High Court or District Judge in the Super Time Scale or above. What was the rationale of making such an order appealable directly to the Supreme Court? We see no reason why the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court should be excluded.   

Click here to Read/Download Judgment


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