SC: Superior Court cannot Direct Subordinate Court to Pass an Order


December 16

Madan Mohan v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.

December 14, 2017

In this recent judgment passed by the Supreme Court, the Court recognizes the principle of judicial independence of Courts and categorically states that the same cannot be interfered with by any Court including the Superior Court.

Background- In the case, the Appellant initially filed an application before the Session Judge to take cognizance of offence alleged to be committed by Respondent no. 2 and 3. The Appellant’s contention was that Respondent no. 2 and 3 figured prominently in all material documents filed alongwith the charge sheet and without any justifiable reason their names were deleted from the charge sheet. The Sessions Judge, by order allowed the application finding prima facie case against respondent Nos.2 and 3 and accordingly summoned both by issuing non-bailable warrant of arrest against them.

Aggrieved by Session Judge’s order, the Respondent preferred a revision application in the High Court, however complainant-appellant herein at whose instance the order was passed by the Sessions Judge was not impleaded as party in the revision.

Impugned order- The Single Judge of High Court allowed the revision in part and set aside that portion of the order of the Sessions Judge which had directed issuance of non-bailable warrant of arrest of respondent Nos.2 and 3 while summoning them. The High Court in the case also directed as under:

However, the petitioners, Ashish Meena and Vimal Meena (respondent no. 2 and 3), are directed to surrender before the learned trial Court and to move application for their regular bail, which will be considered and allowed by that Court on the same day on which it is moved.

Bench’s Verdict

Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court set aside impugned order passed by the High Court and made following observations in the case:

  • That the complainant at whose instance the Sessions Judge had passed the order was not made a necessary party to the criminal revision along with the State. In other words, the Complainant also had a right of hearing in the Revision because the order impugned in the Revision was passed by the Session Judge on his application.
  • That Single Judge of High Court grossly erred in giving direction to the Sessions Judge to consider the bail application of respondent Nos.2 and 3 and “allow” it on the “same day”. The Supreme Court in this context opined that the High Court had no jurisdiction to direct the Sessions Judge to “allow” the application for grant of bail. The Court remarked that once such direction had been issued by the High Court then what was left for the Sessions Judge to decide except to follow the directions of the High Court and grant bail to respondent Nos. 2 and 3.
  • That no Superior Court in hierarchical jurisdiction can issue such direction/mandamus to any subordinate Court commanding them to pass a particular order on any application filed by any party.
  • That the judicial independence of every Court in passing the orders cannot be interfered with by any Court including superior Court.
  • That any such directions issued by Superior Court amounts to usurping the powers of Subordinate Court and would amount to interfering in the discretionary powers of the subordinate Court. Such orders are not legally sustainable.

The entire case can be accessed here.