Supreme Court Guidelines

Writ Jurisdiction of High Courts

City and Industrial Development Corporation v. Dosu Aardeshir Bhiwandiwala,

AIR 2009 SC 571: (2009) 1 SCC 168

The High Court while exercising its extraordinary jurisdiction under
article 226 of the Constitution is duty-bound to take all the relevant facts and circumstances into consideration and decide for itself even in the absence of proper affidavits from the State and its instrumentalities as to whether any case at all is made out requiring its interference on the basis of the material made available on record. There is nothing like issuing an ex-parte writ of Mandamus, order or direction in a public law remedy. Further, while considering validity of impugned action or inaction the Court will not consider itself restricted to the pleadings of the State but would be free to satisfy itself whether any case as such is made out by a person invoking its extra-ordinary jurisdiction under article 226 of the Constitution. The Court while exercising its jurisdiction under article 226 is

duty-bound to consider whether:
(a) adjudication of writ petition involves any complex and disputed questions of facts and whether they can be satisfactorily resolved;
(b) petition reveals all material facts;
(c) the petitioner has any alternative or effective remedy for the resolution of the dispute;
(d) person invoking the jurisdiction is guilty of unexplained delay and laches;
(e) ex facie barred by any laws of Limitation;
(f) grant of relief is against public policy or barred by any valid law; and host of other factors.

The court in appropriate cases in its discretion may direct the State or its instrumentalities as the case may be to file proper affidavits placing all the relevant facts truly and accurately for the consideration of the court and particularly in cases where public revenue and public interest are involved. Such directions always are required to be complied with by the State. No relief could be granted in a public law remedy as a matter of course only on the ground that the State did not file its counter-affidavit opposing the writ petition. Further, empty and self-defeating affidavits or statements of Government spokesmen by themselves do not form basis to grant any relief to a person in a public remedy to which he is not otherwise entitled to in law.

Source: M A Rashid, Supreme Court Guidelines and Precedents, Universal

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