Apex Court Verdicts Law of Land, No Question of Anyone Violating Principles Laid Down: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the judgments delivered by it are the “law of the land” and there is no question of anyone violating the principles laid down in the verdicts.

The apex court made these observations while hearing a matter relating to the compliance of its July last year verdict, in which it had passed several directions, including that the Centre may consider the introduction of a separate enactment in the nature of a bail Act so as to streamline the process of grant of bail.

“A judgment of this court, including the one in Antil’s case (in which the July 2022 verdict was delivered), is the law of the land. There is no question of anyone violating the principles laid down. Suffice for us to say that wherever this judgment is applicable, the principles have to be followed,” a bench of Justices S K Kaul and A Amanullah said.

The court said apparently, there is a large number of cases arising, especially in Uttar Pradesh, where the grievance is that verdicts are not being followed.

“We consider appropriate that this order should be placed before the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court to ensure that there is sufficient dissemination of information…,” it said.

The top court said it is not inclined to entertain applications in individual cases where it is stated that a judgment is not being followed.

“We also make it clear that henceforth, we will not entertain any such applications and the registry should not list any such applications before us as the purpose of keeping this matter alive is only to see that the implementation takes place in the larger perspective,” it said.

Dealing with the aspect of compliance, the bench said it is for the high courts to ensure that wherever there is non-compliance, necessary steps are taken to ensure compliance.

In its order passed in the matter on March 21, the apex court had observed that it was the high courts’ duty to ensure that the subordinate judiciary under their supervision follows the law of the land and if orders are being passed by magistrates in breach of its judgment, “it may even require judicial work to be withdrawn and those magistrates to be sent to the judicial academies for upgradation of their skills for some time”.

During the hearing on Tuesday, an order passed by a sessions judge in Uttar Pradesh rejecting an anticipatory bail plea was placed before the top court bench.

The court noted that the order was passed in a matrimonial dispute where it was alleged that the complainant was assaulted and the husband and other members of his family were sought to be roped in.

The bench noted that it was stated before the court that the applicants were not arrested during the investigation and now, the chargesheet has also been filed.

Referring to the session court’s order, the bench observed: “Certainly, the judge concerned meets the parameters for upgradation of skills in a judicial academy and the needful be done by the high court.”

The bench, which also dealt with several other issues related to the matter, posted it for further hearing in July.

In its judgment delivered in July last year in the case of Satender Kumar Antil vs CBI and another, the apex court passed several directions, including that bail pleas ought to be disposed of within a period of two weeks except if the provisions mandate otherwise, with the exception being an intervening application.

It had said applications for anticipatory bail were expected to be disposed of within a period of six weeks, with the exception of any intervening application.

Prior to that, in another order passed in October 2021, the apex court had issued guidelines for granting bail after the filing of the chargesheet and said trial courts were not precluded from granting interim relief, considering the accused’s conduct during the probe.

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