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Krishna Deo Pandey v. Union Of India And Others - WRIT - A No. 21741 of 2003  RD-AH 146 (19 May 2003)
COURT NO. 34
CIVIL MISC. WRIT PETITION NO. 21682 Of 2003
Rakesh Kumar Agarwal ----- Petitioner
State Bank of India & anr. ----- Respondents
Hon'ble Ghanshyam Dass, J.
This writ petition has been filed for issuing a direction that the Grievance Committee respondent no.2 should be directed to decide the petitioner's Grievance Petition dated 20.10.2002.
Facts and circumstances giving rise to this case are that petitioner has been posted as Assistant Manager, State Bank of India and being aggrieved by the harassment he made a grievance petition on 12.9.2002 to the initial authority in accordance with the statutory provisions. As in view of the provisions of Chapter 15 of the Codified Reference Book on Staff matters, the same was not considered within stipulated period. of 14 days, petitioner had to approach the Grievance Committee but the same has not yet been decided, and hence this petition.
Learned counsel appearing for the respondents has raised preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of the writ petition contending that for the similar relief petitioner had previously filed Writ Petition No. 144 of 2003 wherein he had challenged the departmental enquiry in pursuance of the charge-sheet dated 9.3.2002. The said writ petition was disposed of by this Court vide order dated 8.1.2003 with the direction to conclude the enquiry within three months.
Learned counsel has submitted that as the subject matter of this writ petition relating to petitioner's grievance had not been considered at all in the earlier writ petition, the petitioner cannot be non suited on such technical ground and petition is maintainable by all means.
We have considered the rival submissions made by the learned counsel for the parties on preliminary objection.
Admittedly, petitioner had approached this Court earlier and his petition was disposed of vide order dated 9.3.2002. Even on that date petitioner's grievance, which has been agitated in this petition, was very much there in existence. If petitioner has raised this issue in the earlier petition and did not make any submission thereon then this Court had no occasion to pass the same order, and the petition cannot be entertain. If the petitioner has not raised this issue therein, Court had no opportunity to consider the same. The petition is not maintainable even in that situation.
The issue of filing successive writ petition has been considered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court time and again and held that even if the earlier writ petition has been dismissed as withdrawn, Public Policy which is reflected in the principle enshrined in Order 23 rule 1 C.P.C., mandates that successive writ petition be not entertained for the same relief. (Vide M/s. Sarguja Transport Service Versus State Transport Appellate Tribunal, AIR 1987 SC 88; Ashok Kumar Versus Delhi Development Authority, 1994 (6) SCC 97; and Khacher Singh Versus State of U.P. and others, AIR 1995 All. 332).
Even if a party does not pray for the relief in the earlier writ petition, which he ought to have claimed in the earlier petition, he cannot file a successive writ petition claiming that relief, as it would be barred by the principle of constructive res judicata enshrined in Explanation IV to Section 11 and Order 2 rule 2 C.P.C. as has been explained, in unambiguous and crystal clear language by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Commissioner of Income Tax Versus T.P. Kumaran, 1996 (10) SCC 561; Union of India and others Versus Punni Lal, 1996 (11) SCC 112; and D. Gudasji & Co. Versus State of Mysore, AIR1975 SC 813.
Similar view has been reiterated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Avinash Nagra Vs. Navodaya Vidhyalaya Samiti, (1997) 2 SCC 534 and by the other Court in Uda Ram Vs. Central State Farm & ors., AIR 1998 Raj. 186; and M/s. Rajasthan Art Emporium, Jodhpur Vs. Rajasthan Stat Industrial and Investment Corporation & ors, AIR 1998 Raj. 277.
In M/s. D. Cawasji & Co. etc. Vs. State of Mysore & Anr., AIR 1975 SC 813, the Hon'ble Supreme Court observed as under:-
"Be that as it may, in the earlier writ petitions, the appellants did not pray for refund of the amounts paid by way of cess for the years 1951-52 to 1965-66 and they gave no reasons before the High Court in these writ petitions why they did not make the prayer for refund of the amounts paid during the years in question. Avoiding multiplicity of unnecessary legal proceedings should be an aim of the Courts. Therefore, the appellants could not be allowed to split up their claims for refund and file writ petitions in this piecemeal fashion. If the appellants could have, but did not, without any legal justification, claim refund of the amounts paid during the years in question, in the earlier writ petitions, we see no reason why the appellants should be allowed to claim the amounts by filing writ petitions again. In the circumstances of this case, having regard to the conduct of the appellants in not claiming these amounts in the earlier writ petitions without any justification, we do not think, we would be justified in interfering with the discretion exercised by the High Court in dismissing the writ petitions which were filed only for the purpose of obtaining the refund....in view of the above, the petition is liable to be dismissed as not maintainable and it is dismissed accordingly...."
Similarly, in State of U.P. & Anr. Vs. Labh Chand, AIR 1994 SC 754, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held as under:-
"This reason is not concerned with the discretionary power of the Judge or Judges of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution to entertain a second writ petition whose earlier writ petition was dismissed on the ground of non-exhaustion of alternative remedy but of such a Judge or Judges having not followed the well established salutory rule of judicial practice and procedure that an order of a Single Judge Bench or a Larger Bench of the same High Court dismissing the writ petition either on the ground of laches or non-exhaustion of alternative remedy as well shall not be bye-passed by a Single Judge Bench or Judges of a Larger Bench except in exercise of review or appellate powers possessed by it..... But as the learned Single Judge constituting a Single Judge Bench of the same Court, who has in the purported exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution bye-passed the order of dismissal of the writ petition made by a Division Bench by entertaining a second writ petition filed by the respondent in respect of the subject matter which was the subject matter of the earlier writ petition, the question is, whether the well established salutary rule of judicial practice and procedure governing such matters permit the learned Single Judge to bye-pass the order of the Division Bench on the excuse that High Court has jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to entertain a second writ petition since the earlier writ petition of the same person had been dismissed on the ground of non-availing of alternative remedy and not on merits.... Second writ petition cannot be so entertained, not because the learned Single Judge had no jurisdiction to entertain the same, but because entertaining of such a second writ petition would render the order of the same Court dismissing the earlier writ petition, redundant and nugatory although not reviewed by it in exercise of its recognized power. Besides, if a learned Single Judge could entertain a second writ petition of a person respecting a matter on which his first writ petition was dismissed in limine by another Single Judge or a Division Bench of the same Court, it would encourage an unsuccessful writ petitioner to go on filing writ petitions after writ petition in the same matter, in the same High Court and for it brought up for consideration before one Judge after another. Such a thing, if is allowed to happen, it would result in giving full scope and encouragement to an unscrupulous litigant to abuse the process of the High Court exercising its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution in that any order of any Bench of such Court refusing to entertain a writ petition could be ignored by him with impugnity and the relief sought in the same matter by filing a fresh writ petition. This would only lead to introduction of disorder, confusion and chaos relating to exercise of writ jurisdiction by Judges of the High Court, for there could be no finality for an order of the Court refusing to entertain a writ petition. It is why the rule of judicial practice and procedure that a second writ petition shall not be entertained by the High Court on the subject matter respecting that the writ petition of the same person was dismissed by the same Court even if the order of such dismissal was in limine, be it on the ground of laches or on the ground of non-exhaustion of alternative remedy, has come to be accepted and followed as salutory rule in exercise of writ jurisdiction of the Court." (Emphasis added).
In Burn & Co. Vs. Their Employees, AIR 1954 SC 38, the Hon'ble Apex Court has held as under:-
"That would be contrary to the well-recognised principle that a decision once rendered by a competent authority on a matter in issue between the parties after a full enquiry should not be permitted to be re-agitated. It is on this principle that the rule of res judicata enacted in Section 11, Civil P.C. is based. That section is, no doubt in terms in application to the present matter, but the principle underlying it, expressed in the maxim "interest rei publicae ut sit finis limium", is founded on sound public policy and is of universal application. (Vide Broom's Legal Maxims, Tenth Edition, page 218). 'The rule of res judicata is dictated' observed Sir Lawrence Jenkins C.J. in Sheoparasan Singh Vs. Ramnandan Prasad Narayan Singh, 43 Ind. App. 91: ILR 43 Cal. 694: (AIR 1916 PC 78) (C), by a wisdom which is for all time.' And there are good reasons why this principle should be applicable to decisions of Industrial Tribunals also."
Therefore, in view of the above referred judgments, it is abundantly clear that even if the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure are not applicable in writ jurisdiction, the principle enshrined therein can be resorted to for the reason that the principles, on which the Code of Civil Procedure is based, are founded on public policy and, therefore, require to be extended in the interest of administration of justice. Any relief not claimed in the earlier writ petition should be deemed to have been abandoned by the petitioner to the extent of the cause of action claimed in the subsequent writ petition and in order to restrain the person from abusing the process of the Court, such an order/ course requires not only to be resorted to but to be enforced.
In Dr. Buddi Kota Subbarao Vs. K Parasaran, AIR 1996 SC 2687, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has observed as under:-
"No litigant has a right to unlimited drought on the Court time and public money in order to get his affairs settled in the manner he wishes. However, access to justice should not be misused as a licence to file misconceived and frivolous petitions."
Similar view has been reiterated by the Supreme Court in K.K. Modi Vs. K.N. Modi, (1998) 3 SCC 573.
In Tamil Nadu Electricity Board & Anr. Vs. N. Rajureddiar & Anr. AIR 1997 SC 1005 the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that filing successive misconceived and frivolous applications for clarification, modification or for seeking a review of the order interferes with the purity of the administration of law and salutary and healthy practice. Such a litigant must be dealt with a very heavy hand.
In Sabia Khan & ors. Vs. State of U.P. & ors., (1999) 1 SCC 271, the Hon'ble Apex Court held that filing totally misconceived petition amounts to abuse of the process of the Court and such litigant is not required to be dealt with lightly.
In Abdul Rahman Vs. Prasoni Bai & Anr., 2003 AIR SCW 14, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that wherever the Court comes to the conclusion that the process of the Court is being abused, the Court would be justified in refusing to proceed further and refuse the party from pursuing the remedy in law.
Thus, we hold that filing of the successive petition is not permissible and approaching this Court again amounts to abuse of the process of the Court.
Petition is dismissed as we are not inclined to interfere without examining the issue on merit.
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