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Demonetisation Case: Opportunity for Supreme Court to settle relevance of “subsequent events” in deciding validity of executive decision

Deviation from Mohinder Singh Gill’s case

Subsequently, in the judgments in Chairman, All India Railway Recruitment Board v. K Shyam Kumar and PRP Export v. Chief Secretary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court created an exception for testing the validity of the orders by permitting to take into account “subsequent events in the larger public interest”.

It was held that the decision-maker can always rely upon subsequent materials to support the decision already taken when a larger public interest is involved.

Interestingly words used were “decision-maker”, though if the benefit of judicial review is extended to the decision-maker, it should also logically stand extended to the decision-challenger.

But certainly, there won’t be any doubt that it would include the decision-giver, that is, the Court, which can always look at the subsequent events (if the said exceptions are correct).

The Supreme Court in PRP Export decision said that the High Court in that case was “right in examining the subsequent events as well in a case where larger public interest is involved”.

This exception carved out by the apex court now leads to an interesting development of law as regards the impact of post-decisional events in cases of larger public interest.

However, what is noteworthy is that both the said cases gave the benefit of the subsequent events to the State or its agencies.

Source: Barandbench

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