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When an appeal order is not decided on merits then it cannot be said that the order has attained complete finality: Meghalaya High Court

The order impugned would govern the decision-making process at the writ court stage, the independent petitions filed by the present applicants may suffer the same fate. Such an opinion was held by The Hon’ble High Court of Meghalaya before The Hon’ble Mr. Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and The Hon’ble Mr. Justice W. Diengdoh in the matter of Srilekha Das Purkayastha & ors Vs. Director-General, Assam Rifles & ors [MC (WA) No.67/2021]. 

The facts of the case were associated with an application filed under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 who was granted leave to intervene in an appeal that was dismissed as withdrawn. The order passed on September 26, 2018, was evident enough that the grant of leave given to the present applicants to intercede on behalf of the applicants that writ petitions were filed. Moreover, the appeal in WA No.78 of 2016 would govern the principle issue of the writ petition filed by the applicants. 

It was found that withdrawn leave was granted to the applicants in MC (WA) No.9 of 2018 to file a fresh writ appeal at the time when WA No.78 of 2016 was permitted to do so. On behalf of the applicant, it was submitted that as the decision-making process at the writ court stage was to be governed by the impugned order WA No.78 of 2016 then the independent petitions filed by the present applicants may suffer the same fate. Therefore, in such situations, it was open to the applicants to pursue their writ petitions in accordance with the law and even if the learned Single Bench found embarrassment in passing any order different from the said impugned order, the applicants had the right to prefer appeals from the individual writ petitions.

The Hon’ble Court held that “Accordingly, the present application is considered as superfluous and dismissed with liberty to the applicants to challenge any order that may be passed on the writ petitions filed by them covering the same or similar issues… Accordingly, WA No.19 of 2021 and MC (WA) No.69 of 2021 are dismissed at the receiving stage.”

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Judgment reviewed by Bipasha Kundu

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