SC constitutes a Constitution bench for reconsidering its 2018 Asian Resurfacing judgment

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In a recent notification published on the Supreme Court’s website, the SC notified the composition of the Constitution bench to reconsider its 2018 judgment, Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency P. Ltd. Director vs. CBI. In this judgment, the SC stated that the interim orders of stay granted by High Courts or lower courts in criminal and civil cases will automatically expire after six months unless extended specifically. The members of the five-judge bench constituted by the Supreme Court are Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Abhay S. Oka, Justice Manoj Misra, Justice Pankal Mithal, and Justice J.B. Pardiwala. After expressing reservations about the dictum regarding automatic stay vacation on December 01, 2023, a three-judge bench referred the Asian Resurfacing judgment to the Constitution bench. The notification also highlighted that the matter will be taken up after the Constitution bench’s hearing in the case related to Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955, listed on 05 December 2023.  

While referring the case to a larger bench, a five-judge bench, the SC observed, “The above directions of this court indicate that in all matters, whether civil or criminal, orders of stay, which have once been granted, should not continue beyond a period of six months unless specifically extended and the stay shall stand vacated automatically. We have reservations in regard to the correctness of the broad formulation of the principles in the above terms. We are of the view that the principle which has been laid down in the above decision to the effect that a stay shall be automatically vacated (which would mean an automatic vacation of stay without the application of judicial mind to whether the stay should or should not be extended further) is liable to result in a miscarriage of justice.”