State of Maharashtra & Anr Vs. Shri Prabhakar Bhikaji
Ingle  INSC 367 (11
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
1996 SCC (3) 463 JT 1996 (3) 567 1996 SCALE (3)7
O R D
have heard the counsel on both sides. Admittedly, the respondent had filed O.A.
No.1169/93 in the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal, Bombay Bench against the
order passed by the Commissioner of Police, Bombay removing him from service. The Commissioner had exercised his power
under Art.311(2)(b) of the Constitution holding that in the circumstances it
was not practicable to conduct an enquiry against the respondent. That order
came to be confirmed by the Tribunal dismissing the O.A. on March 6, 1995. Against that, the respondent filed
SLP (C) No.11433/95 which was dismissed by this Court on 25.8.95. Pending the
SLP, the respondent filed a review application in the Tribunal. The Tribunal
after receipt of the order passed by this Court dismissing the SLP, by the impugned
order dated 2.11.95 reviewed the order and set aside the order of dismissal.
this appeal by special leave.
contended for the respondent that the dismissal of the SLP does not preclude
the Tribunal from reviewing the order since the dismissal was a non-speaking
order. We fail to appreciate the contention of the respondent. It is true that
this Court has held that the dismissal of SLP without speaking order does not
constitute res judicata. The principle of res judicata is founded on public policy
that the parties cannot be permitted to have the controversy directly or
substantially in issue between the same parties or those claiming under the
parties in the subsequent suit in the same proceedings in the subsequent stages
cannot be raised once over. It is a sound principle of public policy to prevent
this case, when the self-same main order was confirmed by this Court, the
question arises whether the Tribunal has had power under Order 47, Rule 1 CPC
or any other appropriate provision under the Tribunals Act to review the orders
passed by it and confirmed by this Court by refusing to grant leave. We find
that the exercise of the review power is deleterious to the judicial
discipline. Once this Court has confirmed the order passed by the Tribunal,
that becomes final. Therefore, the Tribunal cannot have any power to review the
previous order which stands merged with the order passed by this Court.
next contended by the learned counsel for the respondent that though the
Tribunal was communicated with the order of this Court dated 25.8.95, it has
thereafter passed the order. It would mean that though it had the knowledge of
dismissal of the order passed by this Court, the Tribunal has exercised the
power of review and that, therefore, it cannot be said to be illegal. We are
wholly unable to appreciate the contention of the learned counsel.
could appreciate that if the Tribunal had no knowledge of dismissal of the SLP
it might, in certain circumstances, review its earlier order, e.g., if it was
found that the order was vitiated by any manifest error of law apparent on the
face of the record. But having received the communication that this Court has
already upheld its order, the Tribunal's exercise of power can be said to be
audacious and without any judicial discipline. Under those circumstances, we donot
think that the Tribunal is justified in reviewing its own order when this Court
had confirmed the order passed earlier.
appeal is accordingly allowed. The review order is set aside. But in the
circumstances without costs.