Judicial AnalysisA Judgment Cannot Be Read Like A Statute

April 23, 20160
Analysis By A Full Service Law Firm AMLEGALS
A Judgement Is A Verdict On Facts & Applicable Laws
It is well settled in law that a judgment cannot be read like a statute.
Construction of a judgment should be made in the light of the factual matrix involved therein.
In Goan Real Estate & Construction Ltd. & Anr. v. Union of India, (2010) 5 SCC 388, it has been held that

What is more important is to see the issues involved in a given case, and the context wherein the observations were made by the Court while deciding the case. Observation made in a judgment, it is trite, should not be read in isolation and out of context. It is the ratio of the judgment, and not every observation made in the context of the facts of a particular case under consideration of the court, which constitutes a binding precedent.

In P.S. Sathappan v. Andhra Bank Ltd. & Ors., (2004) 11 SCC 672, the Supreme Court of India  has held as follows:
144. While analyzing different decisions rendered by this Court, an attempt has been made to read the judgments as should be read under the rule of precedents. A decision, it is trite, should not be read as a statute.
145. A decision is an authority for the questions of law determined by it. While applying the ratio, the court may not pick out a word or a sentence from the judgment divorced from the context in which the said question arose for consideration. A judgment as is well-known, must be read in its entirety and the observations made therein should receive consideration in the light of the questions raised before it. (See Haryana Financial Corporation and Anr. v. Jagdamba Oil Mills and Anr., [2002]1SCR621 , Union of India and Ors. v. Dhanwanti Devi and Ors. , (1996) 6 SCC 44 , Dr. Nalini Mahajan v. Director of Income Tax (Investigation) and Ors., [2002] 257 ITR 123(Delhi) , State of UP and Anr. v. Synthetics and Chemicals Ltd. and Anr. , 1991 (4) SCC 139 , AOne Granites v. State of U.P. and Ors., AIR 2001 Crl. L.P. 558/2014 Page 17 of 31 SCW 848 and Bhavnagar University v. Palitana Sugar Mill (P) Ltd. and Ors., (2003) 2 SCC 111. 140.

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