Directions issued by Supreme Court in exercise of its power under Article 142 of the Constitution do not constitute a binding precedent

In State of U.P. Vs Neeraj Awasthi & Others {2005 (5) Suppl.SCR 906 , 2006 (1) SCC 667 , 2005 (10) SCALE 286 , 2006(1) JT19; Date of Judgment: 16/12/2005} hon™ble Supreme Court has observed as follows.

In All Manipur Regular Posts Vacancies Substitute Teachers’ Association v. State of Manipur [1991 Supp (2) SCC 643], this Court was confronted with various interim orders passed by the High Court from time to time in several writ petitions.  It was observed that if the direct recruitment takes place on one hand and substituted teachers are also directed to be regularized subsequently, it would create an enormous problem for the department to accommodate both the categories of persons and in the aforementioned situation, in exercise of its power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, this Court with a view to avoid further litigation and also to avoid seemingly conflicting interim orders issued by the High Court gave certain directions. Such directions having evidently been issued by this Court in EXERCISE OF ITS POWER UNDER ARTICLE 142 of the Constitution of India DO NOT CONSTITUTE A BINDING PRECEDENT.  Even therein, the scope and ambit of this Court’s jurisdiction under Article 142 vis-`-vis existence of the statue and statutory rules and the constitutional mandate contained in Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India had not been taken into consideration. (capitals supplied)

Further, in State of Kerala & Anr. Vs Mahesh Kumar & Ors. {(2009) 3 SCC 654; (2009) 3 JT 424; Decided on 23.02.2009} hon™ble Supreme Court has observed as follows (in para 20).

20. Therefore, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, we direct that the aforesaid remaining 8 persons be also given the same benefit as has been given to 40 teaching and 50 non-teaching staff and they shall be so accommodated in terms of their seniority. We, however, make it clear that THIS ORDER IS MADE IN THE PECULIAR FACTS and circumstances of this case and WOULD NOT, therefore, BE TREATED AS A PRECEDENT in any other matter. (capitals supplied)


COMMENTS: In view of aforesaid discussion, THE DIRECTIONS ISSUED by hon™ble Supreme Court in M/S.HARMAN ELECTRONICS (P) LTD. & ANR. Vs M/S. NATIONAL PANASONIC INDIA LTD. {2008 (16) SCALE 317; Decided on 12.12.2008} DO NOT CONSTITUTE A BINDING PRECEDENT, because Supreme Court had EXERCISED ITS JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 142 of the Constitution of India and directed as follows (in para 28):

Para 28. For the views we have taken it must be held that Delhi High Court (typing error-should be DELHI COURT) has no jurisdiction to try the case. We, however, while EXERCISING OUR JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 142 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA DIRECT that Complaint Case No.1549 pending in the Court of Shri N.K. Kaushik, Additional Sessions Judge, New Delhi, BE TRANSFERRED TO THE COURT OF THE DISTRICT AND SESSIONS JUDGE, CHANDIGARH who shall assign the same to a court of competent jurisdiction. The transferee court shall fix a specific date of hearing and shall not grant any adjournment on the date on which the complainant and its witnesses are present. The transferee court is furthermore directed to dispose of the matter within a period of six months from the date of receipt of the records of the case on assignment by the learned District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh. (capitals supplied) (END)


Note: the views expressed are my personal and a view point only.



Narendra Sharma, Consultant (Legal)



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About Narendra Sharma

Narendra Sharma | Consultant (Legal)

I am a B.Sc., MA, LL.B, from Jiwaji University, Gwalior and CS (Intermediate) from Institute of Company Secretaries of India, New Delhi. Was in service past 20 years initially as Deputy Company Secretary in 1989 and retired as GM (Legal) in 2009. I am holding membership of Indian Council of Arbitration, New Delhi. Bagged the ‘Best Opinion Provider’ award for 2005 from the website and listed as Panel Arbitrator thereon. Possess expert knowledge of law in Arbitration Proceedings. Got published many Articles on Company law and Arbitration in various renowned legal magazines such as Chartered Secretary, Corporate Law Adviser, Arbitration Law Reporter and Chartered Accountant Practice Journal. My elder son is a Judicial Magistrate, presently posted at Shajapur (MP).

Now, I am (aged 60) working from home as a part time Consultant with a Solicitor Firm viz. DRT Legal Solutions, Indore (MP) and drafting Counter Claims under the Law of Torts against Banks/Financial Institutions on behalf of sick companies facing recovery actions under DRT Act, 1993 and/or Securitisation Act, 2002. I am enough experienced and competent to be appointed as an Independent Director or an ARBITRATOR. I am looking for Part-time specific legal assignments, especially if they can be handled via e-mailing and/or traveling outstations, when necessary, for consultations/meetings for attending specific complicated legal problems and finding their solutions, as and when required.

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