Review (Civil) No. 3358 of 2018
9-judge bench on February 9th dismissed objections regarding the maintainability of reference in Sabrimala Review Petitions. In the judgement, court has given its reasons for holding that there is no bar for making reference questions of law to a larger bench on a review.
One of the contentions raised was that the review petitions are not maintainable in view of the limitations in Order XLVII of the Supreme Court Rules 2013; and so, reference is bad. Another was that reference can only be made after grant of review and not in a pending review petition. Also contended that pure questions of law cannot be referred.
Court noted that Article 137 empowers Supreme Court to review any judgement any judgement pronounced or order made. Exceptions in Order XLVII Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules 2013 pertain only to Civil and Criminal proceedings, not to writ petitions filed under Article 32. It observed that reference to a larger bench can be made in any cause or appeal as well as in any 'other proceeding'; this includes pending review petition. The court did not agree that pure questions of law could not be referred., especially those pertaining to interpreting provisions of the Constitution.
No matter is beyond the jurisdiction of a superior court of record unless it is expressly shown to be so, under provisions of the Constitution. It referred to Article 142 and said that the same enables it to make any order if it necesitates complete justice in a cause or matter pending before it.
Section : 34, 302, 394, 460 of IPC, 1860; Section 11 and 13 of M.P Dakaiti Avam Vyapharam Adhiniyam, 1981; Section 114 of Evidence Act.