“Unfortunate to see writ jurisdiction invoked at the drop of hat, as if High Courts are Tehsil Courts:” Punjab & Haryana High Court

Punjab and Haryana High Court Took Cognizance of Cases Against MLA’s and MP’s

The Punjab and Haryana High Court said Citizens are invoking writ jurisdiction of the High Court at the drop of the hat without approaching the appropriate forum; while expressing its frustration at the large number of writ petitions being filed before it (Ranbir Singh and Ors. v. State of Haryana and Ors.).

“Here we are constrained to add that it is unfortunate to see Writ Jurisdiction being invoked at the drop of hat, as if High Courts are Tehsil Courts,” the Court said.

A Bench of Justices Jaswant Singh and Rajesh Bhardwaj was hearing a petition filed by residents of a village in Karnal, Haryana, seeking the Court’s intervention in hastening repairs on a stretch of village road.

The IOC was required to deposit an amount of Rs. 21.27 Lakh for the road repairs, which was not done, the petitioner averred. Two letters and a document from 2012 were produced to substantiate this claim.

Bench expressing its reservations on the maintainability of the writ petition, the Court attempted to resolve the petitioners’ grievances the Bench called upon the counsel for IOC, to apprise the Court if it was responsible for the maintenance of the road and if yes, why funds were not released.

It was not responsible for the road, and produced a memo written to the Public Works Department (PWD) to this effect, IOC informed the bench.

Article 226 of the Constitution, the provision of law from which High Courts draw their power, cannot be invoked to overreach the functioning of District Administrations, the Court said.

“For each grievance, the Legislature has provided for remedies to its Citizens by enacting statutes, which are required to be invoked by them for redressal,” the Court said.

The Court dismissed the petition, exhorting citizens to approach the appropriate forum to voice grievances.

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