Supreme Court: Cannot Ignore Ratio Laid In An Earlier Judgement Merely Because It Stands Referred To A Larger Bench


The Supreme Court in the case observed and has held that it cannot ignore the ratio laid down by the court in an earlier judgment which is merely because the same stands referred to the larger Bench.
The bench comprising of Justice Anirudhha Bose and Justice Bela Trivedi in the case observed and has held that the judicial propriety did not permit it ignoring the ratio wherein it is laid down in the earlier judgement as no decision with regards to the same had come out from the larger Bench.
In the present case, the said matter pertains to the proceedings in the Central Administrative Tribunal, CAT, Hyderabad which seek to be transferred to the Ahmedabad Bench of the same Tribunal. It may also be noted by the said court that the matter had reached the final stage of hearing and the transfer was sought by the petitioner in the matter who himself had instituted the suit.
The petitioner in the plea argued before the court that he was now residing in Ahmedabad after retirement and if the court did not accept his transfer plea, it would cause inconvenience and undue hardship for him to travel to Hyderabad for the matter. Thus, the application made by him of transfer was rejected by the Principal Bench of CAT, Delhi. He challenged the order before the Gujarat High Court.
However, the Gujarat High Court did not accept the plea moved by him.
The High Court in the case observed and has also relied on the judgement in the case Union of India v. Alapan Bandyopadhyay, holding that it lacked territorial jurisdiction to entertain that petition.
The plea moved submitted before the court that Supreme Court in the case of Union of India v. Sanjiv Chaturvedi had referred Alapan Bandyopadhyay to a larger Bench.
The court in the case observed and has held that this court do not think that judicial propriety permits ignoring the ratio laid down by the coordinate Bench in the case of Alapan Bandyopadhyay, supra as no decision has come as yet from the larger Bench on the point of territorial jurisdiction of the High Court in a similar context. If this court is to take the different view, the only course open for us would have been to refer the plea to the Hon’ble the Chief Justice for being adjudicated by a larger Bench, as it has been done in the case of Sanjiv Chaturvedi (supra).
Further, it has also been noted by the court that the main reason for which the Principal Bench of the Tribunal had rejected the transfer application was that the hearing was at a final stage before CAT, Hyderabad, wherein the court stated that it did not find any flaw in such reasoning.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court rejected the plea.