|It is meant to hear questions of Constitution or law: Bench|
New Delhi: Appeals against High Court orders cannot be filed mechanically. "If the Supreme Court entertains all and sundry cases, it will soon be flooded with a huge amount of backlog and will not be able to deal with important questions relating to the Constitution or the law or where grave injustice has been done, for which it is really meant under the constitutional scheme. After all, the Supreme Court has limited time at its disposal and it cannot be expected to hear every kind of dispute," said a Bench consisting of Justices S.B. Sinha and Markandey Katju.
It was dismissing an appeal against a Madras High Court verdict. Writing the judgment, Justice Katju said: "Nowadays it has become a practice of filing SLPs against all kinds of orders of the High Court or other authorities without realising the scope of Article 136 of the Constitution. Hence we feel it incumbent on us to reiterate that Article 136 was never meant to be an ordinary forum of appeal at all like Section 96 or even Section 100 Civil Procedure Code."
The Bench said, "Article 136 is not a regular forum of appeal at all. It is a residual provision, which enables the Supreme Court to interfere with the judgment or order of any court or tribunal in India in its discretion. The use of the words "in its discretion" clearly indicates that Article 136 does not confer a right of appeal upon any party but merely vests a discretion in the Supreme Court to interfere in exceptional cases."
The Bench said "this overriding and exceptional power has to be exercised sparingly; only in furtherance of the cause of justice in exceptional cases and only when special circumstances are shown to exist."
In the instant case, Suryakala preferred an appeal the quashing of a criminal case she instituted against her husband Mohandas for dowry offences after 978 days. "This is not fit case to be entertained in exercise of our discretion under Article 136," the Bench said.
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