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Likelihood Of Divergence of Views Cannot Be a Ground for Transfer Under Article 139A Of Constitution

[11 July 2022] The bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari dismissed the Transfer petitions under Article 139A (1) read with Order XL of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, filed by Union of India and other parties who prayed for transfer of various writ petitions, pending before different High Courts challenging the constitutional validity of the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015 to the Supreme Court.
Taking note of the rival contentions and other precedents cited before it, the bench observed that the decision to transfer or not, to the Supreme Court or to one High Court, has been taken by this Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 139A of the Constitution of India with reference to the given set of facts and circumstances.
While dismissing the Transfer Petitions, the court observed:

“No hard and fast rule or any structured formula is provided nor appears desirable; a comprehensive view of all the facts and relevant surrounding factors is the best guiding light for exercise of this jurisdiction under Article 139A of the Constitution of India… In the present set of facts and circumstances, for what has been noticed and discussed hereinabove, we are clearly of the view that transfer of the pending writ petitions from the respective High Courts is not called for. The likelihood of divergence of views, looking to the framework of the statute itself, cannot be a ground for transfer. Equally, there appears no reason to transfer the matters to any one High Court; rather it appears just and proper that the petitions in the jurisdictional High Courts are decided with reference to their own factual background and the law applicable.”

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