Extraordinary writ jurisdiction is to be exercised only in rare cases or certain contingencies in the interest of justice, including exceptional cases: Del HC

Delhi High Court: Chandra Dhari Singh, J., expressed that it is settled law that the power to issue writ has its own well-defined limitations imposed by the High Courts, one of which was the availability of alternative efficacious remedy.

A petition was filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India seeking issuance of writ of certiorari for immediate arrest of accused persons and taking appropriate action against the investigation officer for the delay in lodging FIR and helping accused persons.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that the police was not investigating the matter as per the mandate of the judgments of the Supreme Court and High Court.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court referred to the various cases with regard to the exercise of the writ jurisdiction by the High Court.

Recently, the Supreme Court in Radha Krishan Industries v. State of H.P., (2021) 6 SCC 771, reiterated and summarized the principles governing the exercise of writ jurisdiction by the High Court in presence of an alternate remedy.

Hence,

“Extraordinary writ jurisdiction is to be exercised only in rare cases or certain contingencies in the interest of justice, including exceptional cases.”

Allahabad High Court’s decision in Waseem Haider v. State of U.P., Misc. Bench No. 24492 of 2020, held that the power to issue a writ of mandamus has its own well defined self-imposed limitations, one of which is the availability of alternative efficacious remedies. In the aforesaid judgment, the Division Bench has exhaustively dealt with the alternative remedies available to a person aggrieved by non-registration of FIR by the police.

Therefore, a writ to compel the police to conduct an investigation can be denied for not exhausting the alternative and efficacious remedy available under the provisions of the Code, unless the exceptions enumerated in the Supreme Court decision are satisfied.

In the instant case, it was noted that the petitioner was yet to exercise and exhaust his alternative remedies available under the provisions of the Code including approaching the Magistrate.

Bench expressed that it was the prerogative of the police/investigation agency to determine whether custodial interrogation was required.

Since the investigating agency was already investigating, the present stage was pre-mature for the writ petition to be entertained.

High Court opined that it should not ordinarily, as a matter of routine, exercise its extraordinary writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution if an effective and efficacious alternate remedy is available.

In view of the above discussion, petition was dismissed. [Lalit Raj v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 799, decided on 16-3-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Mr. Shakti Narayan, Advocate

For the Respondents:

Ms. Monika Arora, Advocate for UOI

Mr. Rajesh Mahajan, ASC for State with Mr. Jyoti Babbar, Advocate with ACP Vijay Singh, P. S. Dwarka North

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