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Supreme Court: Satisfaction under Art. 139A for transfer of case pending anywhere can be on a party Application

The SC on July 23, 2020 {Sunil Rathee & Ors. vs The State of Haryana & Ors.} held that the satisfaction under Article 139A of the Constitution can be on the Court’s own motion, on an application made by the Attorney General or on the basis of an application made by a party to any such case.

The SC Bench, comprising of Justice ANIRUDDHA BOSE, observed that the provision of Article 139A of the Constitution relating to withdrawal of a case from a High Court to this Court on the ground of pendency before this Court of a case involving same or similar questions of law contemplates fulfilment of two conditions. First, in the case pending before this Court, the questions of law involved ought to be the same or substantially the same as those involved in the case in the High Court, the withdrawal of which can be asked for. Secondly, the Supreme Court, while exercising the jurisdiction vested in it under Article 139A of the Constitution must be satisfied that such questions are substantial questions of general importance. 

In the present case, the petitioners sought transfer of a writ petition from the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to the Supreme Court. The main ground on which such plea was made was that the Supreme Court is hearing certain appeals on near identical point to the one which forms subject of controversy in the Writ Petition before the HC.

It was held that Article 139A vests the Supreme Court with jurisdiction to direct transfer or withdrawal of a case pending in a High Court to it on two grounds as referred earlier.  It was held that on satisfaction of these conditions, the Court can make direction in exercise of its discretion for withdrawing the case for disposal of the same by itself. It was held that the manner in which such discretion would be exercised would vary from case to case. The SC held that it does not see any possibility of any interest being prejudiced if it directs withdrawal of the writ petition from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to itself.

It was accordingly directed that withdrawal of CWP No. 7607 of 2019 (Sunil Rathee and Ors. Vs. State of Haryana & Ors.) pending in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to the Supreme Court for disposal of the said Writ Petition. The Transfer Petition stood allowed.

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