Friday, 3 June 2022

Judicial Precedents

 Basically it is a doctrine which means "Law made by judges" & it is one of the major sources of Law

which is contributory in nature in the form of making the new Laws.

It is a decision taken by a Court which will be a benchmark and used for future reference in decision

making by the subordinate Courts while the legal facts and issues are exactly the same.

In the other word it is something which past decisions help to make future decisions.

Judgments passed by the higher judiciary are applicable to the same on the lower judiciary. Which

means the judgment passed by the High Court follows by the Lower Courts, the Supreme Court

judgment follows by the High Courts, Lower Courts & the Supreme Court itself means higher division

bench to lower division bench.

All the subordinate Courts are bound to follow where the legal issues, facts and circumstances are

sufficiently similar.

Meaning & Definition:

Judicial Precedents means in general terms a behavior which is previously adopted becomes an example

or rule for subsequent cases.

For example in the case of Kesavananda Bharati the basic structure doctrine of the Indian Constitution

was propounded which is applicable as a precedent in the case of Indira Gandhi Vs. Raj Narayan,

Minerva Mills and other cases where the facts of the case and the circumstances are subsequently


It may be defined as a decision by a competent Court of justice upon a disputed point of Law becoming

not merely a guide but an authority to be followed by all the same system until it has been overruled by

a superior Court of justice or by statute.

Enactment & Provisions:

Judicial Precedents were enacted from 1950 after the making of the Constitution

Article 141 of the Indian Constitution talks about decisions of the Supreme Court.

Article 225 of the Indian Constitution talks about decisions of High Courts making them obligatory for

their subordinate Courts.

Doctrine of Stare Decisis:

The doctrine of "Stare Decisis" which means "to stand by what has been decided

This means that judges follow the legal principles already established in earlier cases.

This ensures consistency in the Law and predictability.

It's presumptions are based on the hierarchy of the Courts and the Courts are bound to follow the Court

decisions by their chronological order. In case of an equivalent court they have persuasive value which

means they respect the decision but are not bound to follow it.

Fundamental Principles:

It is 'like cases should be treated alike'.

A rule followed or a principle applied by a competent authority under similar facts and circumstances.

When the judges interpret the Law by establishing new rules and principles which are binding on lower

Courts known as 'Judicial Precedents'.

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