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Power of Extraordinary writ Jurisdiction – The High Court may and can exercise its extraordina

Balakrishna Ram vs. Union of India and Anr. Civil appeal no. 131/2020 @ special leave petition (civil) no. 6999 of 2017 – January 10 2020

The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose dismissed the appeal

Issue: Whether an appeal against an order passed by a single judge of a High Court deciding a case relating to the Armed Forces personnel pending before the High Court is required to be transformed to the Armed Forces Tribunal or should be heard by the High Court?

Appeals that are made against the order of a single judge bench are called special appeals. After the establishment of the Armed Forces Tribunal in 2007, all the cases relating to armed forces must be dealt by the tribunal. The cases which are pending or in due course in any of the courts should be immediately transferred to the Tribunal. All the documents relating to the case should also be sent as soon as possible according to section 14 and 15 of the Act.

 Appellant contended that the   High   Court   is   a Constitutional   Court   constituted   under   Article   214   of   the Constitution   and   are   courts   of   record   within   the   meaning   of Article 215.  It is obvious that the order of the High Court cannot be challenged before any other forum except the Supreme Court. The provision of intra­ court appeal whether by way of Letters Patents   or   special   enactment   is   a   system   that   provides   for correction of judgments within the High Courts where a judgment rendered by a single judge may be subject to challenge before a Division Bench.  This appeal to the Division Bench does not lie in all cases and must be provided for either under the Letters Patent or any other special enactment.

In Union of India and others vs. Ram Baran, the Court held that all the appeals including the Letters Patent Appeals against a single-judge bench can be decided by the Tribunal as it is a substitute for the High Court.

Section 14(1) of the Act clearly provides that the AFT will exercise all the powers of the supreme court or high court exercising jurisdiction under article 226 and 227 of the Constitution. The legislature has clearly not vested the AFT with the power and jurisdiction of the High Court to be exercised under Article 226 of the Constitution.

According to the facts of the case, the appellant could not clear the aptitude test but should have been considered for any other post before discharging from the service. The appeal is made for not considering him for any other alternative service. As the appellant was not fit for the height criteria he was not appointed. Hence the appeal was dismissed.

–  Vydurya Selvi Baskaran



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