Sen J I

Hon’ble Justice Vikramajit Sen turns 65 on the last day of this year and retires duly. I shall forever associate him with ‘precedents’. What binds and what holds is a recurrent theme in several of his Judgments.

Rashmi Metaliks, (2013) 10 SCC 95: SC often has to “face lengthy arguments in each case because of the practice of citing innumerable decisions on a particular point of law”; “the correct approach is to predicate arguments on the decision which holds the field.

Sundeep Bafna, 2014 (4) SCALE 215: “Members of the Bar will desist from citing several cases when all that is required for their purposes is to draw attention to the precedents that hold the field”.

Sher Singh, (2015) 3 SCC 724: “The bludgeoning burden of obiter dicta invariably causes confusion.”

It is not surprising, with 5 months to go, Hon’ble Justice Vikramajit Sen felt, this would be “the apposite time and place for a brief discussion on the contours and connotations of the term ratio decidendi” [Laxmi Devi v. State of Bihar, (2015) 7 SCALE 555].

My Lord, What is Ratio Decidendi?

Read, Glanville Williams; G.W. Paton; Rupert Cross; (1990) 4 SCC 207; (2003) 6 SCC 697; (2007) 3 SCC 720.

In Latin, it means the reason for deciding.Sen

Post Script, 12/10/2015: See, Neon Laboratories Ltd. v. Medical Technologies Ltd., [Civil Appeal No. 1018 of 2006]: “In the interest of prolixity we may mention only N.R. Dongre v. Whirlpool Corporation, (1996) 5 SCC 714 and Milmet Oftho Industries v. Allergan Inc., (2004) 12 SCC 624.”