Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Whether an earlier decision of co-equal Bench will bind Bench of same strength?

 In this context, we may also refer to Sundeep Kumar Bafna v. State of Maharashtra and Anr. MANU/SC/0239/2014 : (2014) 16 SCC 623 which correctly lays down the principle that discipline demanded by a precedent or the disqualification or diminution of a decision on the application of the per incuriam Rule is of great importance, since without it, certainty of law, consistency of rulings and comity of courts would become a costly casualty. A decision or judgment can be per incuriam any provision in a statute, Rule or Regulation, which was not brought to the notice of the court. A decision or judgment can also be per incuriam if it is not possible to reconcile its ratio with that of a previously pronounced judgment of a co-equal or larger Bench. There can be no scintilla of doubt that an earlier decision of co-equal Bench binds the Bench of same strength. Though the judgment in Rajesh's case was delivered on a later date, it had not apprised itself of the law stated in Reshma Kumari (supra) but had been guided by Santosh Devi (supra). We have no hesitation that it is not a binding precedent on the co-equal Bench.


Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 25590 of 2014, 

Decided On: 31.10.2017

 National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Pranay Sethi and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Dipak Misra, C.J.I., A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ.

Citation: (2017) 16 SCC 680.
Read full judgment here: Click here

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