State Legislature cannot enact a law providing a direct appeal to the Supreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant, JJ has held that a State Legislature cannot enact a law providing an appeal directly to the Supreme Court of India excluding the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court.

The Court was hearing the issue relating to the enactment of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011 by the State of Chhattisgarh. Section 13 of the said Act provides that from any order of the Rent Controller an appeal lies to the Rent Control Tribunal nand in terms of Section 13(2), an appeal lies as a matter of right to the Supreme Court. When an appeal filed under Section 13(2) of the Act, came up for admission before the Supreme Court, it issued notice to the State of Chhattisgarh and the Attorney General for India regarding the legislative competence of making such provision.

Holding that the State cannot enact a legislation providing an appeal directly to the Supreme Court. That would amount to entrenching upon the jurisdiction of the Union, which the State Legislature does not have, the Court said,

“The powers with regard to jurisdiction and power of the Supreme Court vest with the Union and Parliament alone can enact a legislation in this regard. The power of the Supreme Court under Article 136 is always there.”

Noticing that the men who drafted the Act did not even consider the hierarchy of Courts, the Court said,

“As pointed above, the Rent Control Tribunal is headed by a retired Judge of the High Court or District Judge in the Super Time Scale or above. What was the rationale of making such an order appealable directly to the Supreme Court? We see no reason why the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court should be excluded.”

The Court, hence, held that Section 13(2) of the Act, in so far as it provides an appeal directly to the Supreme Court, is totally illegal, ultra vires the Constitution and beyond the scope of the powers of the State Legislature and is accordingly struck down.

[HS Yadav v. Shakuntala Devi Parakh, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1341, decided on 15.10.2019]

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