MP HC | Supervisory jurisdiction under Art. 227 not available to correct mere errors of fact or law

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Vinay Kumar Shukla, J., upheld the decision of the Railway Claims Tribunal by dismissing a petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India challenging the legality and validity of an order by the Railway Claims Tribunal.

The petitioner had filed a claim petition under Section 16 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 for grant of compensation on the death of her deceased husband who died in a train accident. The petitioner, through an amendment application, wished to change of place of the accident itself and also the train number without any plausible reason. The respondent argued that if the amendment was allowed after the filing of the written statement, it would change the entire nature of the claim. Since the petitioners had already sought five adjournments in the matter, the case was fixed for evidence.

The Court did not find any illegality in the impugned order which rejected the application for amendment. The Court relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in Jai Singh v. MCD, (2010) 9 SCC 385 and further stated that “it is settled law that jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India cannot be exercised to correct all errors of subordinate Courts within its limitation. It can be exercised where the order is passed in grave dereliction of duty and flagrant abuse of the fundamental principle of law and justice”.

The supervisory jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India is exercised for keeping the subordinate courts within the bounds of their jurisdiction. Be it a writ of certiorari or the exercise of supervisory jurisdiction, none is available to correct mere errors of fact or of law unless the following requirements are satisfied –

(i) the error is manifest and apparent on the fact of the proceedings such as when it is based on clear ignorance or utter disregard of the provisions of law; and

(ii) a grave injustice or gross failure of justice has occasioned thereby.

In view of the aforesaid enunciation of law, the instant petition is devoid of merit and is hereby dismissed.[Narmada Bai v. Union of India, MP-4024-2019, decided on 16-08-2019]

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