Karnataka High Court directs to avoid unnecessary citation of numerous court decisions to save time and energy in legal proceedings.

Case title: The Managing Director Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) and Ors. V. Sri. L Mallikarjunappa

Case no.:  W A No. 133 of 2024

Decided on: 25.03.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Mr. Justice N. V. Anjaria, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Krishna S Dixit.


The case involves multiple writ petitions, including WA Nos. 133/2024, 140/2024, 46/2024, 1551/2023, 1546/2023, 1545/2023, 1532/2023, 1531/2023, 1523/2023, 1518/2023, 1431/2023, and 136/2024, seek to lay a challenge to the learned Single Judge’s orders. Which directed he respondents to re-fix the salary of the petitioners by granting them the additional annual increment, and consequentially, also refit and pay their pension along with the arrears of salary and pension accrued so far, within a period of three months from the date of receipt the order.


The legal provisions involved in the case include the rules for filing common or joint petitions as outlined in Rule 7 of the Writ Proceedings Rules, 1977. Additionally, Article 141 of the Indian Constitution, which states that the law declared by the Supreme Court is binding on all courts within India, is relevant to the case. The case also refers to the norm of filing one writ petition for several persons with common interests but not seeking individual relief, as per the procedural guidelines.


The appellants, represented by learned panel counsel, cited numerous Apex Court decisions to support their case. However, many of these citations were deemed irrelevant to the adjudication of the appeals, leading to the assertion that excessive citation of legal precedents should be avoided to prevent unnecessary lengthening of court proceedings. The appellants argued that the appellants who were opposing parties in the writ petitions should be considered as ‘other authorities’ under Article 12 of the Constitution, emphasizing the need for fair treatment as a model employer.


The respondents, who were the writ petitioners, argued that the writ petitions should not have been dismissed due to delay, latches, and acquiescence, as these factors were not duly considered by the learned Single Judge. They contended that multiple petitioners with common interests could maintain a single petition, and the delay in seeking writ remedies should not be a strict rule, especially for vulnerable groups like pensioners. The respondents emphasized the need for fair treatment and timely resolution of legal matters without being bound by rigid timelines.


The case revolved around several key points. Firstly, the court addressed the practice of citing numerous court decisions, particularly those from the Apex Court, and highlighted the need to avoid excessive citation to prevent unnecessary delays in legal proceedings. The court emphasized the importance of citing only relevant legal precedents to streamline the adjudication process. Additionally, the court discussed the doctrine of prospective overruling in constitutional jurisprudence, clarifying that it should only be invoked in specific circumstances where a law or legal instrument has been adjudged differently in subsequent decisions.

Furthermore, the court examined the issue of delay, latches, and acquiescence raised by the respondents, asserting that these factors should not automatically lead to the dismissal of writ petitions, especially when considering the interests of vulnerable groups like pensioners. The court underscored the need for a balanced approach in addressing legal matters, taking into account the unique circumstances of each case. Ultimately, the court concluded that the appeals lacked merit and were liable to be rejected, emphasizing the importance of efficient legal proceedings and timely resolution of disputes. The judgment highlighted the need for careful consideration of legal principles and the avoidance of unnecessary delays in the justice system.

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Judgement reviewed by – Ayush Shrivastava

Click here to read the full judgement.

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