Karnataka High Court: While deciding a set of writ petitions filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, a Single Judge Bench of Vineet Kothari, J. allowed the petitions holding that judgments of the Constitutional Courts can be altered, modified or reversed only by the superior courts of larger strength or hierarchy, but they could not be allowed to be casually referred and not followed for good reasons to be recorded by the Authorities below the Constitutional Courts.

The petitioner challenged the re-assessment order passed against the petitioner, by the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Tax. Learned counsel for the petitioner, inter alia, submitted that the Assessing Authority made a cursory reference to the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court in the impugned order but failed to apply the binding judgment and proceeded to pass the impugned orders which deserve to be quashed.

The High Court considered the submissions made on behalf of the parties and was of the opinion that the Authority did not understand and failed to apply the ratio of the concerned judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court. It was held that if the lower Authorities choose to take a view different from that of a Constitutional Bench, they should record their detailed reasons in writing, so that the Appellate Authorities or the Constitutional Courts when dealing with their orders have an opportunity to peruse their appropriate application of mind to the judgment delivered by the Constitutional Courts. And if that is not done, then it would be taken as a disregard to the judgments of the Constitutional Courts and might drag such Authorities in the realm of judicial indiscipline or even contempt. Accordingly, applying the ratio of the judgment concerned, the petitions were allowed and the impugned order was set aside. [Federal Mogul Goetze (India) Ltd. v. CCT, 2017 SCC OnLine Kar 2892, dated 9.10.2017]

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