The Supreme Court has held that the plenary powers of the Apex Court under Article 142 cannot be used to supplant the substantive law applicable to the case or the cause under consideration of the court.

A miscellaneous application was filed in the civil appeal by the applicant seeking directions to the Union Bank of India to issue Sale letter in favour of the applicant in respect of the property on the ground that the applicant/auction purchaser had made the full and final payment of the auction amount along with interest in terms of the order passed by the Apex Court.

The two-Judge Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela M. Trivedi observed, “The plenary powers of the Supreme Court under Article 142 are inherent in nature and are complementary to those powers which are specifically conferred on the court by various statutes. These powers though are of a very wide amplitude to do complete justice between the parties, cannot be used to supplant the substantive law applicable to the case or to the cause under consideration of the court.”

The Bench while referring to the case of Supertech Limited v. Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association and Others 2021 SCC Online SC 3422 said that, a trend is emerging in the court of filing repeated applications styled as Miscellaneous Applications, without any legal foundation.

Advocate O.P. Gaggar appeared for the Bank while Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave and Jaideep Gupta appeared for the applicant.

In this case, the applicant filed an instant misc. application seeking the directions as stated hereinabove. The application was resisted by the respondents by filing their respective replies and it was mainly contended that the misc. application filed in the disposed of civil appeal, seeking directions to the bank for issuing the sale certificate was not maintainable, more particularly when the applicant had failed to comply with the orders passed by the Apex Court from time to time and when the applicant also not complied with the provisions contained in Rule 9 of the Security Interest (Enforcement) Rules, 2022.

It was also alleged that a collusion happened between the applicant and the Bank. The Bank had filed the affidavit in reply relying upon its earlier affidavit filed with regard to the status report. It was contended inter alia that even if the lockdown was considered to be in operation till the end of February 2022, then also the full payment as per the Court’s order should have been made on or before April 30, 2022, but the same was not made.

The Supreme Court in the above regard noted, “Apart from the fact that the Applicant had not complied with the orders passed by this Court from time to time in the successive applications filed by it, and more particularly the order dated 12.05.2020 passed in M.A. No.922 of 2020, such an application in the disposed of Civil Appeal No.1902 of 2020, to pursue its strategies and to avoid judicial adjudication in the substantive proceedings, would not be even maintainable in the eye of law.”

The Court further took note of the fact that there is nothing on record to suggest as to whether the respondent had preferred any appeal before DRAT in view of the order passed in civil appeal, and if preferred whether the same is pending or not.

“There is also no clarity about the final outcome of the main Security Application preferred by the Respondent No.1 Rajat Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. and Others before the DRT. Be that as it may, the instant Miscellaneous Application seeking substantive prayers filed in the said disposed of Civil Appeal No.1902 of 2020 being not maintainable cannot be entertained and deserves to be dismissed”, said the Court.

The Court, however clarified that it would be open to the applicant to take recourse to any other remedy that may be permissible under the law for the prayers sought in the application, or to file appropriate proceedings seeking refund of the amount deposited with the bank, as may be permissible under the law.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court dismissed the miscellaneous application

Cause Title- Union Bank of India v. Rajat Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2023INSC869)

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