SC: Jurisdiction u/ Article 226 of the Constitution not to be exercised casually.

Today, i.e. on 3rd December, 2018, the Hon’ble Supreme Courtin the matter of Roshina T v. Abdul Azeez K.T. & Ors.pronounced that the High Court cannot allow its constitutional jurisdiction to be used for deciding disputes, for which remedies under the general law, civil or criminal are available.

The Hon’ble Apex Court, among other things, observed that:

Questions like Who is the owner of the property in question ? Whether the respondent was/is in possession of the property and, if so, from which date? How and in what circumstances, he claimed to be in its possession? Whether his possession could be regarded as legal or not qua its real owner ? etc. are pure questions of fact and such questions ought to be answered one way or the other only by a Civil Court in a properly constituted civil suit and on the basis of the evidence adduced by the parties but not in a writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution by the High Court. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 14 of the judgement)

A regular suit is the appropriate remedy for settlement of the disputes relating to property rights between the private persons. The remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution shall not be available except where violation of some statutory duty on the part of statutory authority is alleged. In such cases, the Court has jurisdiction to issue appropriate directions to the authority concerned. (Para 15)

The High Court cannot allow its constitutional jurisdiction to be used for deciding disputes, for which remedies under the general law, civil or criminal are available. This Court has held that it is not intended to replace the ordinary remedies by way of a civil suit or application available to an aggrieved person. (Para 15)

The jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution being special and extraordinary, it should not be exercised casually or lightly on mere asking by the litigant. (Para 15)

A dispute regarding possession of a property between two private individuals could be decided only by a Civil Court in a civil suit or by the Criminal Court in Section 145 Cr.P.C proceedings but not in the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 20 of the judgement)

Copy of judgement: Judgement 03-Dec-2018

-Tushar Kaushik

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