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Mere Over-ruling Of Principles By A Subsequent Judgment Will Not Dilute Binding Effect Of Decision On Inter-parties: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
17 Aug 2021 1:40 PM GMT
Mere Over-ruling Of Principles By A Subsequent Judgment Will Not Dilute Binding Effect Of  Decision On Inter-parties: Supreme Court
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Emphasizing the distinction between over-ruling a principle and reversal of the judgment, the Supreme Court observed that mere over-ruling of the principles by a subsequent judgment will not dilute the binding effect of the decision on inter-parties."Mere over-ruling of the principles, on which the earlier judgment was passed, by a subsequent judgment of higher forum will not have the effect...

Emphasizing the distinction between over-ruling a principle and reversal of the judgment, the Supreme Court observed that mere over-ruling of the principles by a subsequent judgment will not dilute the binding effect of the decision on inter-parties.

"Mere over-ruling of the principles, on which the earlier judgment was passed, by a subsequent judgment of higher forum will not have the effect of uprooting the final adjudication between the parties and set it at naught.", the bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari said.

In this case, the Allahabad High Court, vide judgment dated 23.01.2006, directed the State to consider regularization of appellant under the relevant Regularization Rules. This judgment was not challenged by the State. However, some years after the Supreme court delivered the judgment in Uma Devi, the state filed another writ petition in this regard. Though the single bench dismissed the writ petition, the Division bench allowed the special appeal filed by the State. Relying upon the observations made in Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. Vs. Umadevi & Ors., the High Court held that since the initial appointment of the appellant was dehors the Rules and thus was illegal. The court held that her appointment was litigious appointment as she continued on the strength of an interim order passed by the High Court on 20.05.1986, she was thus not entitled for regularization.

In appeal, the Apex Court bench observed that In Uma Devi judgment, there is no direction that service matters that stand concluded inter partes, ought to be re-opened. 

"30. It becomes absolutely clear from the above clarification that earlier decisions running counter to the principles settled in the decision of Umadevi (3) will not be treated as precedents. It cannot mean that the judgment of a competent Court delivered prior to the decision in Umadevi (3) and which has attained finality and is binding inter se between the parties need not be implemented. Mere over-ruling of the principles, on which the earlier judgment was passed, by a subsequent judgment of higher forum will not have the effect of uprooting the final adjudication between the parties and set it at naught. There is a distinction between over-ruling a principle and reversal of the judgment. The judgment in question itself has to be assailed and got rid of in a manner known to or recognized by law. Mere over-ruling of the principles by a subsequent judgment will not dilute the binding effect of the decision on inter-parties", the court said.

The court also noted a recent judgment in Vice Chancellor Anand Agriculture University Vs. Kanubhai Nanubhai Vaghela, wherein it was held that the judgment in Umadevi case does not absolve the Anand Agricultural University of its duty to comply with the direction in an earlier judgment. The court observed that the Division Bench of the High Court proceeded as if it was hearing an appeal against the judgment dated 23.01.2006 of the learned Single Judge which had already attained finality. It observed thus:

34. In Rupa Ashok Hurra Vs. Ashok Hurra & Anr. , while dealing with an identical issue this Court held that reconsideration of the judgment of this Court which has attained finality is not normally permissible. The decision upon a question of law rendered by this Court was conclusive and would bind the Court in subsequent cases. The Court cannot sit in appeal against its own judgment...
36. Thus, it is very well settled that it is not permissible for the parties to re-open the concluded judgments of the Court as the same may not only tantamount to an abuse of the process of the Court but would have far reaching adverse effect on the administration of justice.

Setting aside the Division Bench judgment, the court held that the appellant is held entitled to be regularized with all consequential benefits which may be extended to her within a period of three months from today

Case: Neelima Sreevastava vs. State of Uttar Pradesh ; CA . 4840 OF 2021
Citation: LL 2021 SC 386
Coram: Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari 
Counsel:  Adv Nikhil Goel for the appellant and Adv Harish Pandey for the State-Respondent


Click here to Read/Download Judgment



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