Judicial – Bench Strength – Decorum II

Constitution Benches are constituted to resolve a constitutional issue, harmonize conflicting views and settle the law. Constitution Bench decisions might only be reconsidered by a Constitution Bench of a Larger Strength and that too in exceptional and compelling circumstances. Bench of Lesser Strength cannot revisit the proposition laid down by at least Three Constitution Benches.

Raj Kumar Karwal v. Union of India, (1990) 2 SCC 409 has reaffirmed the verdict of Three Constitution Benches and does not require reconsideration. Nor does Kanhaiyalal v. Union of India, (2008) 4 SCC 668 require reconsideration.

Hon’ble Justice Indira Banerjee, Tofan Singh v. State of Tamil Nadu, [Criminal Appeal No. 152 of 2013].

It is clear Raj Kumar Karwal v. Union of India, (1990) 2 SCC 409 cannot possibly have laid down the law correctly. Kanhaiyalal v. Union of India, (2008) 4 SCC 668 goes on to follow Raj Kumar Karwal v. Union of India, (1990) 2 SCC 409. Both do not state the law correctly and are thus overruled.

Hon’ble Justice R.F. Nariman and Hon’ble Justice Navin Sinha, Tofan Singh v. State of Tamil Nadu, [Criminal Appeal No. 152 of 2013].

Chess