SC: Alternate remedy u/ CPC will deter HC from using supervisory powers

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 3rd October 2019, in the matter of Virudhunagar Hindu Nadargal Dharma Paribalana Sabai & Ors. v. Tuticorin Educational Society & Ors. pronounced that wherever the proceedings are under the CPC and the forum is the Civil Court the availability of a remedy under the CPC, will deter the High Court from exercising its power under Article 227 of the Constitution.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

The availability of a remedy of appeal may not always be a bar for the exercise of supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court. (Para 12)

Courts should always bear in mind a distinction between (i) cases where such alternative remedy is available before Civil Courts in terms of the provisions of Code of Civil procedure and (ii) cases where such alternative remedy is available under special enactments and/or statutory rules and the fora provided therein happen to be quasi­judicial authorities and tribunals. In respect of cases falling under the first category, which may involve suits and other proceedings before civil courts, the availability of an appellate remedy in terms of the provisions of CPC, may have to be construed as a near total bar. Otherwise, there is a danger that someone may challenge in a revision under Article 227, even a decree passed in a suit. (Para 13)

Therefore wherever the proceedings are under the code of Civil Procedure and the forum is the Civil Court, the availability of a remedy under the CPC, will deter the High Court, not merely as a measure of self imposed restriction, but as a matter of discipline and prudence, from exercising its power of superintendence under the Constitution. (Para 14)

Order XXXIX Rule 3A of the Code of Civil Procedure itself mandates the disposal of an application for injunction within 30 days, whenever an injunction was granted without notice to the opposite party.(Para 18)

Finding the line of demarcation between speedy disposal and hurried dispatch, with mathematical precision, is not possible. (Para 18)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_03-Oct-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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