Division Bench of High Court has no power of superintendence under Article 227 over its own Single Bench [Anil Kumar Shrivastava v. Shaurya Sunil, 2016 decided on January 20, 2016]

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The order of Single Bench of Patna High Court which dismissed an application in a Testamentary Suit was challenged before the Division Bench by invoking Article 227 of the Constitution.While deciding the question as to whether a Division Bench of a High Court can exercise its power of superintendence under Article 227 of the Constitution  against an order made in a suit by a Single Bench, the Patna High Court held that a Single Judge or a Single Bench of a High Court is not a court subordinate to the Division Bench and, therefore, the power of superintendence vested in a High Court by Article 227, is not exercisable against an order or decision of its own Single Bench. The Court in its judgment, discusses history of Article 227 of the Constitution at length and observes that Section 107 of the Government of India Act vested, in the High Courts, the power of superintendence over all the “Courts‟ subject to its appellate jurisdiction, Article 227 of the Constitution of India has vested, in the High Courts, the power of superintendence not only over the ‘Courts’, which are subject to its territorial jurisdiction, but also over all the ‘Tribunals’ in relation to which the High Court exercises territorial jurisdiction. Dismissing the petition as misconceived and not maintainable, the  Court observed that all the powers, which are given to the High Court under sub-clauses (a), (b) and (c)  of Article 227(2) are in respect of courts and tribunals which are subordinate to the territorial jurisdiction of a High Court and a Single Bench is not a court subordinate to the Division Bench meaning thereby that as against the order passed in a suit, such as the present one, by a Single Judge of this Court, no application/petition under Article 227  is maintainable.

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