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Writ Petition Under Article 227 Challenging Judicial Orders Are Maintainable, But Not Under Article 226

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The Supreme Court reiterated that a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking writ of certiorari against judicial orders passed by civil courts is not maintainable. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that writ petition under Article 227 challenging the orders passed by Civil Courts refusing to grant interim injunction under Order XXXIX, Rules 1 and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, will be maintainable.

Article 226 of the constitution of India empowers the high courts to issue, to any person or authority, including the government (in appropriate cases), directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari or any of them.

Article 227 of the Constitution of India empowers determines that every High Court shall have superintendence over all courts and tribunals throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction (except a court formed under a law related to armed forces).

The High Court, can, under Article 227 –

  • Call for returns from such courts,
  • Make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts.
  • Prescribe forms in which books, entries and accounts be kept by the officers of any such courts.
  • Settle tables of fees to be allowed to the sheriff and all clerks and officers of such courts.

In the case State of Jharkhand vs Surendra Kumar Shrivastav & orsAccording to the writ petitioners/ respondent no 1their  mother late Smt. Shyal Devi had purchased about 3.61 acres from Raju Gour and Shatrughan Gour by way of two unregistered Sale Deeds dated 30.04.1958.  According to Respondent Nos. 1 to 3, late Smt. Shyal Devi had raised a structure over a part of the suit property and was cultivating the rest of it. The said land was situated adjacent to the land belonging to the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation. After many years, In 1992, Smt. Shyal Devi filed Title Suit No. 153/1992 before the Additional Munsif, Jamshedpur alleging that the officials of the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation were disturbing her possession of the suit property since 1990. The judgment was given on  27.2.1999, in favor of the plaintiff late Smt. Shyal Devi and it was also confirmed her possession since 1958. The Bihar State Road Transport Corporation was restrained from interfering with the peaceful possession of Smt. Shyal Devi. 

Further, Bihar State Road Transport Corporation have filled an appeal as to challenge the judgement  which was given on 27.02.1999 before the Additional District Judge in Jamshedpur. The district judge dismissed the appeal on the ground of the possession. The district judge held that the plaintiff have failed to establish her title and it would be open for the bihar state board transport corporation to file a suit against Shyal Devi for declaration of title over the land and to seek her eviction. The bihar state road transport corporation  again appeal in the Jharkhand high court. late Smt. Shyal Devi did not challenge the finding that she had failed to 5 establish her title before the High Court. Hence, the finding of the Additional District Judge attained finality.

The High Court held  by refusing to grant a temporary injunction in title suit filed by the plaintiff against the state. Examining the matter on merits, the bench set aside the high court order and observed that it granted an order of status quo with respect to the construction of the Electricity Sub-station even though the plaintiffs had failed to produce any documentary evidence whatsoever to establish their title to the suit property.

Aggrieved by the  Judgment dated 19.05.2015 passed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court, the State of Jharkhand filed the present S.L.P. , and the General Manager, Jharkhand State Electricity Board filed S.L.P.

This Court as  Interim Order dated 14.12.2015, granted liberty to the Appellant  i.e  The General Manager, Jharkhand State Electricity Board [in S.L.P] to draw the supply lines.Further, The learned Senior Counsel appearing for the Appellants, inter alia submitted that Writ Petition No. 2081 of 2015, seeking a writ of certiorari, was not maintainable, as it was filed to challenge judicial orders passed by civil courts. Learned Counsel placed reliance on the decision of a three-judge bench in Radhey Shyam v. Chhabi Nath & Ors.2.In view of the aforesaid reasons, the Civil Appeals are allowed, and the impugned Judgment dated May 19, 2005 passed by the Learned Single Judge of the Jharkhand High Court in Writ Petition No. 2081 of 2015 is hereby set aside.The supreme court finally said that The Writ Petition under Article 227 challenging the orders passed by Civil Courts refusing to grant interim injunction under Order XXXIX, Rules 1 and 2 of the CPC could very well be maintainable, and the opportunity to amend the cause title by Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 by raising any objection to that effect having been denied to them, we, instead of setting aside the judgment of the High Court on the above ground, proceed to examine the contentions on merits,” it said while deciding to hear the case on merits.

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