SLP Against HC Order Rejecting Review Petition Cannot be Heard When the Main Judgement Is Not Challenged: SC

In the case of T.K. David v. Kuruppampady Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. & Ors., ( Special Leave Petition no. (C)NO.10482 Of 2020), the Supreme Court in the judgment dated 5-10-2020,  had laid down that Special Leave Petition, when filed against a High Court order, which rejected the review order, cannot be entertained when the main judgment is not challenged.

The brief facts of the case is that the petitioner was an employee of Kuruppampady Service Co-operative Bank. He was suspended and a disciplinary inquiry was conducted by the Bank. The Bank vide order dated 20.03.2003 dismissed the petitioner consequent to the domestic enquiry.

Consequently following these occurrences, the Cooperative Arbitration Court by order dated 18.08.2010 gave award by which punishment of dismissal was altered as decrease to a lower rank. In view of the order (dated 18.08.2010) both the petitioner just as the Bank filed Appeal No. 78 of 2010 and No. 81 of 2010 respectively. The Cooperative Tribunal concerning its judgment (dated 16.08.2011) discarded both the advances by which the punishment of compulsory retirement (on 20.03.2003) was forced with terminal advantages or benefits subject to liability, assuming any, appropriately surveyed or duly assessed. Against the request for the Cooperative Tribunal, a writ petition was filed by the petitioner before the learned Judge of the Kerala High Court, in which writ petition was dismissed by judgment (dated 31.07.2013) against which judgment Writ Appeal No. 1313 of 2013 was filed by the petitioner before the Division Bench. The Division Bench of the High Court vide the judgment (dated 11.03.2015) dismissed the writ appeal filed by the petitioner. Then again he filed a Special Leave Petition, consecutively a review petition and a curative petition was also filed, which was also dismissed. Following the above proceeding, the petitioner had filed a Review Petition High Court through a judgment dated 06.02.2020. Aggrieved with the judgment dated 06.02.2020, this special leave petition has been filed.

The judges in this case consisted of Justice Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, M.R. Shah.

This Court had earlier considered the question as to whether the special leave petition challenging the order rejecting review petition is maintainable when the main judgment of the High Court is not under challenge. We may refer to judgment of this Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi Vs. Yashwant Singh Negi, (2013) 2 SCR 550. In the above case, a special leave petition was preferred against an order rejecting the review petition. A preliminary objection was raised that special leave petition is not maintainable since the main judgment is not challenged. In paragraph 1 of the judgment, facts have been noticed, which are to the following effect:- “1. This special leave petition has been preferred against the order dated 11.09.2009 passed by the High Court of Delhi in Review Petition No. 79 of 2009 in LPA No. 1233 of 2006. Mr. Nidhesh Gupta, learned senior counsel appearing for the Respondent raised a preliminary objection that the special leave petition is not maintainable since the main judgment rendered by the High Court on 5.11.2008 in LPA No. 1233 of 2006 was not challenged.”

The rationale for not entertaining a special leave petition challenging the order of High Court rejecting the review petition when main order in the writ petition is not challenged can be easily comprehended. Against the main judgment the SLP having been dismissed earlier the same having become final between the parties cannot be allowed to be affected at the instance of petitioner. When the main judgment of the High Court cannot be effected in any manner, no relief can be granted by this Court in the special leave petition filed against order rejecting review application to review the main judgment of the High Court. This Court does not entertain a special leave petition in which no relief can be granted. It is due to this reason that this Court in Bussa Overseas and Properties Private Limited and Anr. (supra) has held that principle of not entertaining special leave petition against an order rejecting the review petition when main judgment is not under challenge has become a precedential principle. We reiterate the above precedential principle in this case again.”

The special leave petition against the Division Bench judgment dated 11.03.2015 having been dismissed by this Court earlier on 21.08.2015 and the review petition filed by the petitioner to review the judgment having been dismissed by the impugned judgment, we see no reason to entertain this special leave petition. The special leave petition is accordingly dismissed.”

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