Rajasthan High Court: The division bench comprising of Atul Kumar Jain and Govind Mathur, JJ, on reference of the matter by the single bench, made clear that order or decree made by Supreme Court in exercise of its extraordinary power does not form precedent for other subordinate Courts.
In the present case, appellant made an application seeking release on bail/suspension of sentence on conviction under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. The Apex Court in Dadu alias Tulsidas v. State of Maharasta (2000) 8 SCC 437 as well as Union of India v. Rattan Mallik (2009) 2 SCC 624, emphasized that “a sentence awarded under the NDPS Act can be suspended by the appellate court only and strictly subject to the conditions spelt out in Section 37 of the Act”. Where as in Mansingh v Union of India (2004) 13 SCC 42, the Apex Court does not examine the requirements of Section 37 and passed an order exercising extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution for doing complete justice as the accused was behind the bars for a period of more than seven years,. The question arose as to which decision to be followed as precedent in future cases, on which the Court clarified that as per Article 141 of the Constitution, the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India, however, the decrees or orders passed by the Apex Court while exercising its extraordinary authority under Article 142 cannot be taken as precedent, and the Apex Court may grant release on bail or suspension of sentence without getting itself satisfied with the requirements of Section 37 of the NDPS Act, which is not available to the High Court or the trial court, and therefore, the judgment given in the case of Ratan Mallik case lays down the precedent for future cases. Daulat Singh v. State of Rajasthan, DB Criminal Misc. IVth Bail Application No. 1111 of 2013, decided on April 22, 2014.
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