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The SC holds it does not generally overrule the precedents - refused reference to Larger Bench issue of presidential order issued under Art 370.

Supreme Court of India

The Constitutional Bench of SC {DR. SHAH FAESAL AND ORS. v. UNION OF INDIA AND ANR.} holds that jurisprudence has shown that usually the Courts do not overrule the established precedents unless there is a social, constitutional or economic change mandating such a development. Further held that the numbers themselves speak of restraint and the value the Court attaches to the doctrine of precedent. The Top Court regards the use of precedent as indispensable bedrock upon   which   it   renders   justice.   The   use   of   such precedents,   to   some   extent,   creates   certainty   upon   which individuals can rely and conduct their affairs. It also creates a basis for the development of the rule of law.

It was also held that when   a   decision   is   rendered   by   the SC, it   acquires   a reliance interest and the society organizes itself based on the present   legal   order.   When   substantial   judicial   time   and resources are spent on references, the same should not be made   in   a   casual   or   cavalier   manner.   It   was held that it is   only   when   a proposition is contradicted by a subsequent judgment of the same Bench, or it is shown that the proposition laid down has become unworkable or contrary to a well ­established principle, that a reference will be made to a larger Bench.

It is now a settled principle of law that the decisions rendered by a coordinate Bench is binding on the subsequent Benches of equal or lesser strength.

It was further held that the Constitution Bench in the Prem Nath Kaul Case, AIR 1959 SC 749, did not discuss the continuation or cessation of the operation of Article 370 of the Constitution after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of the State. This was not an issue in question before the Court, unlike in the Sampat Prakash Case, AIR 1970 SC 1118, where the contention was specifically made before, and refuted by, the Court. The SC held it sees no reason to read into the Prem Nath Kaul case (supra) an interpretation which results in it being in conflict with the subsequent judgments of the SC,   particularly   when   an   ordinary   reading   of   the judgment does not result in such an interpretation.

It was held by the SC there are no contrary observations made in the Sampat   Prakash case (supra) to that of Prem   Nath   Kaul (supra), accordingly, it was held that the case of Sampat Prakash (supra) is not per incuriam.

The present case pertains to the constitutional challenge before the SC as regards to two Constitution Orders issued by the President of India in exercise of his powers under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. This issue before the SC was confined to the limited preliminary issue of whether the matter should be referred to a larger Bench. Accordingly, it was held no reference to larger bench is as such required.

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