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Unprecedented Legal Conflict: SC Bench of 2-Judges Teaches Law to a 3-Judge Bench


Conflict was over Vyapam-Tainted Doctors’ Fate

Supreme Court vs Supreme Court
Supreme Court vs Supreme Court

On Tuesday, Supreme Court’s three Judge bench which headed by Justice J S Khehar has got some constitutional and legal lessons from two-judge bench which was headed by Justice J Chelameswar in an unprecedented development.

The Apex Court bench headed by Justice Khehar, who will become Chief Justice of India next year, had been given a  task with finding solution to conflict of opinion in the judgment which was given by Bench of Justices Chelameswar and A M Sapre in the case relating to punishment of those whose MBBS degrees were tainted by Vyapam scam.

Justices Chelameswar and Justice Sapre had found the instances where undeserving candidates took advantage of the irregularities in the entrance examinations to bag MBBS seats.

Justice Chelameswar had expounded that they should be asked to render charitable healthcare for certain period of time to retain their MBBS degrees. But Justice Sapre stated otherwise that these degrees should be cancelled.

SC Bench which was headed by Justice Khehar had asked whether the matter needed to be heard afresh to resolve the conflict of opinion and sought an answer from Justices Chelameswar and Justice Sapre.

The miffed two-judge bench headed Justice Chelameswar on Tuesday did not read out the judgment and just signed it, thus departing from usual practice where the judges read out operative portion of the verdict.

The two judge Bench stated that,  “We completely fail to understand that the reference made to Article 145(5),Constitution on July 28, 2016 order (of the three-judge bench). Article 145(5) of  the Constitution provides that Court should not pronounce judgment without concurrence of a majority of the judges on the bench which heard the case. However, it also states that this would not prevent judge from delivering a dissent judgment or opinion.

Justices Chelameswar and Justice Sapre stated that, “We are of  opinion that neither Constitution nor any other law of the country provides for an intra-court appeal in so far as the Supreme Court was concerned. A rehearing of this matter as apparently suggested by the larger bench, in our opinion, would amount to intra-court appeal.“

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