Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: N. Anand Venkatesh, J., while addressing the contempt petition held that,

“The doctrine of merger does not make a distinction between an order of reversal, modification or an order of confirmation.”

Petitioners Counsel, N.G.R Prasad and Sathish Parasaran, Senior Counsel on behalf of the respondent, represented the parties in the present matter.

Maintainability of Contempt Petition

Court’s view in the present matter was that the Court need not venture into rendering its findings on the contentions raised on either side since the very maintainability of the Contempt Petition is in question.

Final orders were passed in the petition on 06-02-2020, respondent took the matter on appeal in W.A. No. 252 of 2020 and Division Bench dealt with the case on merits and partly allowed the Writ Appeal.

Once an order has been passed in the Writ Appeal and the order passed by the Single Judge is modified and the Writ Appeal is partly allowed, the order of the Single Judge merges with the order passed in the Writ Appeal.

The doctrine of merger does not make a distinction between an order of reversal, modification or an order of confirmation.

Reference to the Supreme Court decisions in Kunhayammed v. State of Kerala, (2000) 6 SCC 359 and Shanthi v. T.D. Vishwanathan, (2019) 11 SCC 419, was made.

Bench in view of the above decisions held that the contempt petition filed before the Single judge is not maintainable since the order of the Single judge has merged with the order passed by the Division Bench in the writ appeal.

Adding to the above, Court also stated that if the petitioner feels that the order has been violated or disobeyed, a Contempt Petition can be maintained only before the Division Bench and not before the Single Judge.

Hence, the Contempt Petition was closed.[All India Union Bank Officer v. Brajeshwar Sharma, Contempt Petition No. 570 of 2020, decided on 31-08-2020]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A Bench comprising of A.M. Sapre and Indu Malhotra, JJ. allowed an appeal filed against the judgment of a Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court whereby the appellant’s special appeal filed against the order of the Single Judge was dismissed.

The present matter arose in relation to land acquisition proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The appellant had challenged the notifications issued under Section 4 and thereafter on several grounds. The writ petition filed by the appellant was dismissed by the Single Judge of the High Court. Thereafter, the appellant preferred an intra-court appeal to the Division Bench. By the judgment impugned, the Division Bench dismissed the appeal and upheld the order passed by the Single Judge, which gave rise to filing of special leave to appeal in the Supreme Court.

Having heard the counsel for the parties and on perusal of the record, the Supreme Court was of the view that the judgment of the Division Bench could not be sustained. It was observed that the intra-court appeal involved factual and legal issues, which were decided by the Single Judge. Therefore, once they were carried in intra-court appeal by an aggrieved party and pressed in service while assailing the order of the single Judge, it was incumbent upon the Division Bench to deal with all the issues urged and record its findings one way or the other on every issue urged. In such circumstances, the Court found itself unable to concur with the manner in which the Division Bench disposed of the appeal. Hence, the appeal was allowed; the judgment impugned was set aside, and the matter was remanded back to the Division bench for fresh adjudication. [Raghubir Singh v. State of Rajasthan,2018 SCC OnLine SC 2203, decided on 26-10-2018]