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Narendra Sharma (Consultant)     11 April 2011

Interpretation of Constitution by SC five judge bench


Constitution of India-Article 145(3): The MINIMUM NUMBER OF JUDGES who are to sit for the purpose of deciding any case involving a substantial question of law as to the INTERPRETATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION or for the purpose of hearing any reference under Article 143 SHALL BE FIVE:


Provided that, where the Court hearing an appeal under any of the provisions of this chapter other than Article 132 consists of less than five Judges and in the course of the hearing of the appeal the Court is satisfied that the appeal involves a substantial question of law as to the INTERPRETATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the appeal, such Court shall refer the question for opinion to a COURT CONSTITUTED AS REQUIRED BY THIS CLAUSE for the purpose of deciding any case involving such a question and shall on receipt of the opinion dispose of the appeal in conformity with such opinion.


However, in Mardia Chemicals Ltd. Vs U.O.I. & Ors. {A.I.R 2004 SC 2371 / (2004) 4 SCC 311; Date of Judgment: 08/04/2004; Bench: V.N. Khare, CJI., Brijesh Kumar & Arun Kumar} a THREE JUDGE BENCH of hon’ble Supreme Court has UPHELD THE VALIDITY of the Securitization Act, 2002. An extract of Para 82 is reproduced below for ready reference.


“82.                 We, therefore, subject to what is provided in paragraph 80 above,  UPHOLD THE VALIDITY of the Act and its provisions except that of sub-section (2) of Section 17 of the Act, which is DECLARED ULTRA VIRES OF ARTICLE 14 of the Constitution of India.” (capitals mine)


The learned members are requested to kindly analyse the validity of this judgment?






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