MERE EXISTENCE OF ALTERNATIVE FORUMS IS NOT A BAR TO EXERCISE WRIT JURISDICTION
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
MAHARASHTRA CHESS ASSOCIATION
UNION OF INDIA & ORS.
[Civil Appeal No. 5654 of 2019] DATE: 29.07.2019
In this case the Appellant is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and is affiliated to the All India Chess Federation (second respondent). On December 25, 2016 a resolution was passed by the Central Council of second Respondent for disaffiliating the Appellant.
Subsequently, a writ petition was filed by the Appellant before the Hon’ble Bombay High Court under the Article 226 of the Constitution of India. However, the said petition was dismissed on the grounds that the jurisdiction clause (clause 21 of the Constitution and Bye-laws) conferred the exclusive jurisdiction on courts of Chennai for the disputes arising between the second respondent and the Appellant. Hence being aggrieved by the same present appeal was filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT
Whether a private agreement entered into between the Appellant and second Respondent, by conferring exclusive jurisdiction on the courts at Chennai, ousts the writ jurisdiction of Bombay High Court?
The Hon’ble Supreme Court herein relying upon the State of Uttar Pradesh v. Mohammad Nooh, 1958 SCR 595 held that the mere existence of the alternate forums where the aggrieved party may be granted relief does not create a legal bar on the High Court to exercise its writ Jurisdiction.
The Hon’ble Bench also held that the mere existence of any alternate remedy will not affect the fundamentally discretionary writ jurisdiction of the High Court and hence the same cannot be an absolute legal bar on the writ jurisdiction of the High Court.
In the present case, Hon’ble Supreme Court has followed the judicial trend as well as the legislative intent.
The writ jurisdiction empowered upon the High Courts is an extraordinary power and jurisdiction enshrined to ensure the rule of law within the territorial jurisdiction. It is well settled trite law that no limitation can be imposed upon the writ jurisdiction of High Courts.
The present judgment is in line with the settled principle of law that the High Court being one of the important pillars for upholding the rule of law, it must possess the power to decide upon whether to engage writ jurisdiction or not.
Therefore, the writ jurisdiction being the last recourse for securing justice and upholding the rule of law the same cannot be denied on the grounds of a private agreement entered into between the parties.
Moreover, the Hon’ble bench has allowed the only appeal after taking into consideration the nature of injustice, holistic view of the facts of the case.
Therefore, this being the legal position followed in many previous precedents, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has reiterated the same and kept the essence of writ jurisdiction intact.