SC to decide if review can be filed in HC in case of SLP dismissal

The Supreme Court has referred a legal question — if a review petition can be filed in a High Court in a matter in which a special leave petition (SLP) has already been dismissed by the apex court —  to a larger bench in view of conflicting judgments.

 A bench of Justices K S Radhakarishnan and Dipak Misra also pointed out that the SLP filed invoking Article 136 of the Constitution would not come as right of appeal on any party as this provision gives a discretionary power to the Supreme Court to interfere in suitable cases. “We notice considerable arguments are being raised before this court as well as before various high courts in the country on the maintainability of review petitions after the disposal of the SLP without granting leave but also with or without assigning reasons. On this,  conflicting views are being expressed by the two-Judge benches of this court.”

“In order to resolve those conflicts and for proper guidance to the high courts, we feel it would be appropriate that this matter be referred to a larger bench for an authoritative pronouncement,” the bench said.

The bench further said that we noticed that a large number of review petitions were being filed by the parties even after dismissal of the SLPs by this court, either by non-speaking orders or on merits, and depending upon the outcome of the review petitions against SLPs. They noted that in ‘Palani Raman Catholic Mission vs S Bagirathi Ammal (2009), this court took the view that review petition can be filed if no leave has been granted to file an appeal and until there is no appeal in the eye of law in the superior court, review can be preferred in the high court.

Likewise, in ‘Bhakra Beas Management Board vs Krishan Kumar Vij and (2010), this court held that the mere dismissal of a SLP at a preliminary stage does not constitute a binding precedent, and any order passed by the High Court placing reliance on earlier order, can still be challenged subsequently, it added.

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