Writ Petitions can be Barred by Principle of Res Judicata- Supreme Court


March 25, 2019

Case name: P. Bandhopadhya & ors. v. Union of India & ors.

The present appeal assails Bombay High Court’s order. The Appellants have contended before the Apex Court that they being Government servants prior to their absorption in VSNL, with less than 10 years of qualifying service, would be squarely covered by Clause (c) of the Office Memorandum i.e. Appellants would be entitled to receive an amount equal to the Provident Fund contribution for the period of their service under the Government.


Bench’s Verdict

The Supreme Court Bench in the case held that the Appellants were not entitled to receive pensionary benefits either under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 as the relief sought by the Appellants in the case was barred by the principle of res judicata.

While delivering it’s judgment in the present case, the Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court heavily relied on Constitution Bench’s verdict in the case of Direct Recruit Class II Engineering Officers’ Association v. State of Maharashtra & Ors., wherein it was held that the principles of res judicata are applicable to writ petitions. Thus, where the High Court dismisses a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution after hearing the matter on the merits, a subsequent petition in the Supreme Court under Article 32 on the same facts and for the same reliefs filed by the same parties will be barred by the general principle of res judicata.

The entire case can be accessed here.