“25. Thus, the law on the issue stands crystallised to the effect that in case a litigant files a review petition before filing the special leave petition before this Court and it remains pending till the special leave petition stands dismissed, the review petition deserves to be considered. In case it is filed subsequent to dismissal of the special leave petition, the process of filing review application amounts to abuse of process of the court.
26. In view of the above, we are of the considered opinion that filing of such a review application by the respondents at a belated stage amounts to abuse of process of the court and such an application is not maintainable. Thus, the High Court ought not to have entertained the writ petition against the order of dismissal of the review application by the Special Court and the order of the High Court to that extent is liable to be set aside.”
“Following the decision in the case of Kunhayammed we are of the view that the dismissal of the special leave petition against the main judgment of the High Court would not constitute res judicata when a special leave petition is filed against the order passed in the review petition provided the review petition was filed prior to filing of special leave petition against the main judgment of the High Court. The position would be different where after dismissal of the special leave petition against the main judgment a party files a review petition after a long delay on the ground that the party was prosecuting remedy by way of special leave petition. In such a situation the filing of review would be an abuse of the process of the law. We are in agreement with the view taken in Abbai Maligai Partnership Firm that if the High Court allows the review petition filed after the special leave petition was dismissed after condoning the delay, it would be treated as an affront to the order of the Supreme Court. But this is not the case here. In the present case, the review petition was filed well within time and since the review petition was not being decided by the High Court, the appellant filed the special leave petition against the main judgment of the High Court. We, therefore, overrule the preliminary objection of the counsel for the respondent and hold that this appeal arising out of special leave petition is maintainable.”
“We regret, we cannot agree. In our opinion, it will make no difference whether the review petition was filed in the High Court before the dismissal of the special leave petition or after the dismissal of the special leave petition. The important question really is whether the judgment of the High Court has merged into the judgment of this Court by the doctrine of merger or not. When this Court dismisses a special leave petition by giving some reasons, however meagre (it can be even of just one sentence), there will be a merger of the judgment of the High Court into the order of the Supreme Court dismissing the special leave petition. According to the doctrine of merger, the judgment of the lower court merges into the judgment of the higher court. Hence, if some reasons, however meagre, are given by this Court while dismissing the special leave petition, then by the doctrine of merger, the judgment of the High Court merges into the judgment of this Court and after merger there is no judgment of the High Court. Hence, obviously, there can be no review of a judgment which does not even exist.”