If initial action is not in consonance with law, all subsequent proceedings would fail due to illegality strikes at root

legal maxim ‘sublato fundamento cadit opus’

72. It is a settled legal proposition that if initial action is not in consonance with law, all subsequent and consequential proceedings would fall through for the reason that illegality strikes at the root of the order. In such a fact-situation, the legal maxim ‘sublato fundamento cadit opus’ meaning thereby that foundation being removed, structure/work falls, comes into play and applies on all scores in the present case.

73. In Badrinath v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors., AIR 2000 SC 3243; and State of Kerala v. Puthenkavu N.S.S. Karayogam and Anr., (2001) 10 SCC 191, this Court observed that once the basis of a proceeding is gone, all consequential acts, actions, orders would fall to the ground automatically and this principle is applicable to judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings equally.

74. Similarly in Mangal Prasad Tamoli (dead) by Lrs. v. Narvadeshwar Mishra (dead) by Lrs. and Ors., (2005) 3 SCC 422, this Court held that if an order at the initial stage is bad in law, then all further proceedings, consequent thereto, will be non est and have to be necessarily set aside.

75. In C. Albert Morris v. K. Chandrasekaran and Ors., (2006) 1 SCC 228, this Court held that a right in law exists only and only when it has a lawful origin.

(See also: Upen Chandra Gogoi v. State of Assam and Ors., (1998) 3 SCC 381; Satchidananda Misra v. State of Orissa and Ors., (2004) 8 SCC 599; Regional Manager, SBI v. Rakesh Kumar Tewari, (2006) 1 SCC 530; and Ritesh Tewari and Anr. v. State of U.P. and Ors., AIR 2010 SC 3823).

SOURCE: State of Punjab Versus Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar and Others