Ratio Decidendi I

My Lord, Hon’ble Justice A.P. Sen View, Paragraphs 86-87, Express Newspapers v. Union of India, (1986) 1 SCC 133 = Majority View?


We, consider it apposite to refer to The Guardians of The Poor of The West Derby Union v. The Guardians of The Poor of The Atcham, (1889) 24 QBD 117. The question arose as to how Court should read a decision to find out the ratio decidendi laid down in the decision when such decision is delivered by a Bench of more than One Judge and especially when all Judges have authored their individual opinions on the subject. Lord Esher M.R. in his distinctive style of writing succinctly explained:

If they mean to differ in their view, they do so openly when they come to deliver their Judgments; every one of them has seen the Judgments of the others. I am clear, they decided the point which is before us. Lord Watson’s Judgment deals with it most specifically; is really agreed with by Lord Chancellor and by Lord FitzGerald, and by Lord Macnaghten, but… Lord Macnaghten has also given another reason for coming to the same conclusion.

The reasoning of Hon’ble Justice A.P. Sen contained in Paragraphs 86-87 is the law laid down on behalf of all Three Judges. It is for the reason, first, though the Lead Judgment was authored by A.P. Sen J, the other Two Judges concurred with the view and the reasoning; also expressed their individual views on the question on the same lines on which A.P. Sen J expressed his view; and there is no dissent inter se on any issue.”

Hon’ble Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Kaikohosuru (Chick) Kavasji Framji v. Union of India, [Civil Appeal No. 5574 of 2009].