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Sunday, July 24, 2011

JURISPRUDENCE: Supreme Court says it has sky-high powers to chase injustice!

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J. VENKATESAN / The Hindu / NEW DELHI, July 24, 2011.

When there is manifest injustice, it can suo motu act to set right illegality in High Court verdict
The limits of power exercised by the Supreme Court when it chases injustice, are the sky itself, a Bench of the apex court has said.
“It is plenary power exercisable outside the purview of ordinary law to meet the demand of justice. Article 136 of the Constitution is a special jurisdiction. It is residuary power. It is extraordinary in its amplitude. The limits of Supreme Court when it chases injustice, are the sky itself,” said a Bench of Justices J.M. Panchal and H.L. Gokhale.
The Bench said: “The appellate power vested in the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution is not to be confused with the ordinary appellate power exercised by appellate Courts and appellate Tribunals under specific statutes. The powers under Article 136 can be exercised by the Supreme Court, in favour of a party even suo motu when the Court is satisfied that compelling grounds for its exercise exist.”


Writing the judgment, Mr. Justice Panchal said: “Where there is manifest injustice, a duty is enjoined upon this Court to exercise its suo motu power by setting right the illegality in the judgment of the High Court as it is well-settled that illegality should not be allowed to be perpetuated and failure by this Court to interfere with the same would amount to allow illegality to be perpetuated.”


In the instant case, the appellant, A. Subash Babu, a police officer in Andhra Pradesh, was alleged to have entered into a second marriage by suppressing the fact of his first marriage, which was in subsistence. Aggrieved, the second wife filed a complaint for offences of bigamy, suppression, cheating, dowry and cruelty. The Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed the charges of dowry and cruelty, holding that the second marriage was void but allowed other charges to remain. The present appeal is directed against this judgment.



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