If the High Court is satisfied that a case pending in a court subordinate to it involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case, it shall withdraw the case and may — 

 

(a) either dispose of the case itself, or

 

(b) determine the said question of law and return the case to the court from which the case has been so withdrawn together with a copy of its judgment on such question, and the said court shall on receipt thereof proceed to dispose of the case in conformity with such judgment.

Debate Summary

Article 204, Draft Constitution, 1948

If the High Court is satisfied that a case pending in a court subordinate to it involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution, it shall withdraw the case to itself and dispose of the same.

Explanation.-In this article, "High Court" includes a court of final jurisdiction in a State for the time being specified in Part III of the First Schedule with regard to the case so pending.

 

Draft Article 204 (Article 228) was debated on 7th and 8th June 1949. It regulated the power of the High Court to transfer cases to itself.

 

A member questioned whether it was necessary for the High Court to compulsorily try all withdrawn cases in their entirety. He suggested that the Court should have the option to decide the substantial question of law and then return it to the lower court to dispose of in conformity with this decision. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee then proposed to wholly substitute the Draft Article to provide this option to the High Court. Some members raised concerns about this amendment. One member argued that the Draft Article was unnecessary and would lead to increased costs and delays for litigants. A member of the Drafting Committee argued that the High Court would find it difficult to adjudicate the substantial question of constitutional law without deciding on other related questions of law. In the end, the Assembly decided to accept the Chairman’s amendment

 

The amended Draft Article was adopted on 8th June 1949.