Writ petition not maintainable if there is a remedy for redressal by a competent statutory Authority

Calcutta High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Biswanath Somadder and Arindam Mukherjee, JJ., dismissed an appeal in light of the availability of an efficacious alternative remedy before a competent statutory Authority.

The appeal was filed against the decision of the learned Single Judge who had dismissed the writ petition filed by the appellant challenging the election process for the post of Gram Panchayat member. The learned Single Judge, while dismissing the petition, held that the same was not maintainable before the writ court and relegated the appellant to an appropriate statutory remedy which is available for a period of thirty days from the date of declaration of the election results. The appellant, instead of applying before the statutory Authority, was before the High Court in appeal.

The High Court considered the matter and observed that the writ petition had challenged the election process, and the statutory mechanism for raising such dispute was clearly stated under Section 79 of West Bengal Panchayat Elections Act 2003. The Section prescribes the statutory Authority as well as the time frame for redressal of the dispute. The Court held that the appellant could take recourse to the available alternative remedy before a competent statutory Authority as provided under the Act. Therefore, the Court did not find any infirmity with the decision of the learned Single Judge, and accordingly, the appeal was dismissed. The appellant was directed to approach the Authority within ten days. [Mina Perween v. State of W.B.,2018 SCC OnLine Cal 3962, decided on 25-06-2018]

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