"Everything cannot be brought to the Supreme Court! You will make a collapsing system collapse completely!", remarked Justice S. K. Kaul on Wednesday.
The bench of Justices Kaul and Hemant Gupta was transversing through its board with 11 miscellaneous matters on it, at-least 4 SLPs of which, in the opinion of the Court, did not warrant its interference.
"There has to be a cap on the number of tiers of scrutiny! A matter must rest somewhere!", observed Justice Kaul.
The first item was a challenge to a 2019 decision of the Allahabad High Court, sitting in a second appeal under Section 100 of CPC, which, in turn, arose from a 1975 judgment passed by a IIIrd Additional District Judge, whereby the civil appeal was allowed and the decree of the trial court (being the Ist Additional Munsif) was set aside. The High Court had confirmed the judgment of the first appellate court that the claim of the appellants of dedication of the land in dispute by the erstwhile Zamindar as Kabristan to be used by Muslims cannot be accepted.
"The first appellate court is final on facts. And the second appellate court is final on the law", reiterated Justice Kaul, dismissing the SLP.
The second item happened to be an SLP impugning a 2019 order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court confirming, in second appeal, the judgment of the 2nd ADJ in a suit for declaration. The first appellate court had also confirmed the decree of the trial court, being the Court of First Civil Judge Class 1.
"There are 3 concurrent findings! You could not persuade 3 courts and now you are trying to convince the fourth court?", commented Justice Kaul, dismissing the SLP.
Another item on the board was an SLP against a March, 2021 order of the Bombay High Court refusing the prayer for transfer of matrimonial proceedings moved by the Applicant/husband on the ground of inconvenience. "(The relief) cannot be granted as no hardship will be caused to him. Apart from above, distance between two Courts where the proceedings are sought to be transferred is very meager i.e. within the same District. No case of transfer is made out", the High Court had held.
"The High Court, a 226 court, is not good enough within a state? The Supreme Court has to decide where a case is to be transferred?", asked Justice Kaul. The bench dismissed the SLP even as the petitioner's counsel sought to make a case that the matter is one of public policy and involves a legal question pertaining to section 26 of the Domestic Violence Act.
Another SLP on the board arose from a November, 2020 order of the Telangana High Court on an Article 226 petition where a Lok Adalat order was impugned. The High Court had issued notice on the plea and suspended the order of the Lok Adalat in the interim.
"Even in a matter where a notice has been issued and the stay has been granted, you come to the Supreme Court instead of moving that court for the *acation of the interim order? It is not fair ", Justice Kaul said to senior advocate Geeta Luthra.
"We strongly deprecate the endeavour to move the Supreme Court when the impugned order is only for notice and stay, without even filing an application for vacation of the stay", continued the judge.
When Ms. Luthra pointed out that an interim application has indeed been moved before the High Court but it has not come to be listed since November last year, Justice Kaul remarked, "If a High Court does not list a matter in these times, we should bring all the matters here? From Calcutta, from Allahabad, from Uttarakhand-everything should be moved here? You know the present scenario, there is a listing difficulty in all courts, including this court! Mention the matter for the listing in the High Court!"
When Ms. Luthra prayed that the bench direct that her application be duly disposed off by the High Court, Justice Kaul said, "I never pass such orders to the High Courts to do A, B or C".