Bom HC | Issues of constitutionality of a statute not to be decided for mere academic purpose

Bombay High Court at Goa: The Division Bench of M.S. Sonak & Prithviraj K. Chavan, JJ. dismissed a set of petitions holding that the present was not an appropriate case to entertain a constitutional challenge to Section 33(3) of Goa Land Revenue Code, 1968.

Vires of Section 33(3) were challenged in the present petition. The petitioners claimed to be agricultural tenants of the properties subject to demolition by State Authorities. He had earlier prayed for an interim relief in the matter which was refused by the High Court.

Presently, the Court was informed that the structures in question had been already demolished. It was noted that the petitioners failed to state with clarity as to who had put up the structures and whether they were put up by permission of Authorities. The Court was of the view that it was incumbent on the petitioners, claiming to be agricultural tenants to disclose the genesis of such structures. It was held that in the absence of such disclosures, the Court was not in a position to exercise extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 and Article 227 to extend any relief to the petitioners.

Insofar as a challenge to Section 33(3) was concerned, the Court observed that, “it is settled position in law that issues on the constitutionality of a statute are not to be decided for mere academic purpose.” In the present case, the petitioners made out no case whatsoever for grant of any reliefs or for extending any protection to the structures in question. As such the Court held that it will not be appropriate to entertain any constitutional challenge to Section 33(3) at the behest of present petitioners. Such challenge can perhaps be considered in the appropriate case instituted by appropriate petitioner. Consequently, the petitions were dismissed. [Jose Manuel Monteiro v. State of Goa, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 121, dated 29-01-2019]

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