SC: Is SLP Against Review Dismissal Order Maintainable, When Main Order not challenged?

In today’s Latest Court News, we have Judgement of a three-judges bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon’ble Justice R. Subash Reddy and Hon’ble Justice M.R Shah reaffirming the law on maintainability of SLP against order of Review.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Special Leave Petition challenging a review order is not maintainable if the original order was not challenged in the first place.

The petitioner in this instant SLP was an employee of Kuruppampady Service Co-Operative Bank. He was suspended and a disciplinary inquiry was conducted against him. After the inquiry, he was dismissed by the bank.

Both the parties filed various cases against each other, and finally, the Cooperative Arbitration Court set aside the punishment of dismissal and held that his rank should be reduced instead.

Appeals were filed by both the parties against the order of the Cooperative Arbitration Court and subsequently, Cooperative Tribunal held that the petitioner should be compulsorily retired.

The order of the Cooperative Tribunal was challenged before the Kerala High Court where the Hon’ble Single Judge dismissed the writ petition.

Challenging the order of the Hon’ble single Judge, an appeal was filed before a division bench of the Kerala high court. The division bench dismissed the appeal as well.

Aggrieved by order of the division bench, the petitioner moved before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court dismissed the SLP also. The petitioner filed a review petition before the Supreme Court which was dismissed as well.

The curative petition filed by the petitioner was dismissed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as well. The petitioner filed a Review Petition before the High Court, which was dismissed on 06.02.2020. 

Aggrieved by the order dated 06.02.2020, the petitioner filed the instant special leave petition before the Supreme Court.

Proceedings before the Supreme Court

Arguments raised by the counsel of the petitioner:-

The counsel of the petitioner argued that the dismissal of the SLP dated 21.08.2015 would not operate as res judicata.

He further argued that the petitioner was sacked due to petty charges which were fueled by political vendetta.

It was also argued that punishment of reduction in rank given by Cooperative Arbitration Court was wrongly substituted by compulsory retirement by the Cooperative Tribunal.

The issue before the Court

Whether the special leave petition challenging the order rejecting review petition is maintainable when the main judgment of the High Court is not under challenge?

The Reasoning of the Court

To arrive at its conclusion, the Court referred to Municipal Corporation of Delhi Vs. Yashwant Singh Negi, (2013) 2 SCR 550 where the Court opined that if the High Court has refused to entertain a review petition and had dismissed it, the Court opined that the aggrieved person should challenge the main order and not the order by which review petition was dismissed only.

The Court opined that the rationale for not entertaining a special leave petition challenging the order of the High Court rejecting the review petition when the main order in the writ petition is not challenged could be easily comprehended. Against the main judgment, the SLP having been dismissed earlier the same having become final between the parties cannot be allowed to be affected at the instance of petitioner. When the main judgment of the High Court cannot be effected in any manner, no relief can be granted by this Court in the special leave petition filed against an order rejecting review application to review the main judgment of the High Court. This Court does not entertain a special leave petition in which no relief can be granted.

Further the Court observed  that as per Bussa Overseas and Properties Private Limited and Anr. The precedent set is that the courts should not entertain SLPs where the order rejecting the main judgement was not challenged but instead the order rejecting review petition was challenged.

The Decision of the Court

The Court held that as SLP against the order of Division Bench was earlier dismissed by this very Court and the review petition filed by the petitioner to review the judgment having been dismissed by the impugned judgment(by High Court), there was no need to entertain the instant special leave petition.

Case Details

Title:T.K. DAVID ..VERSUS KURUPPAMPADY SERVICE CO-OPERATIVE BANK LTD. & ORS.

Case No:- SLP (C)NO.10482 OF 2020

Date of Order:05.10.2020

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon’ble Justice R. Subash Reddy and Hon’ble Justice M.R Shah

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