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Can't Entertain A Writ Petition Merely Because Petitioner Participated In Online Selection Process For Gujarat Institute From Here: Kerala High Court

Hannah M Varghese
11 Aug 2021 5:30 AM GMT
Cant Entertain A Writ Petition Merely Because Petitioner Participated In Online Selection Process For Gujarat Institute From Here: Kerala High Court
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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a petition that challenged the selection process of a Gujarat Institute in which the petitioner had participated online from the State of Kerala. Justice P.B Suresh Kumar while dismissing the matter reiterated that no litigant has a right to choose the Court for seeking relief and that Article 226(2) of the Constitution does not...

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a petition that challenged the selection process of a Gujarat Institute in which the petitioner had participated online from the State of Kerala. 

Justice P.B Suresh Kumar while dismissing the matter reiterated that no litigant has a right to choose the Court for seeking relief and that Article 226(2) of the Constitution does not alter that position. The Judge further observed,

"Acceptance of the argument that the situs from where the candidate accessed the first respondent for participating in the selection process will determine the jurisdiction, would lead to a situation that the litigant would be in a position to choose his own Court for the purpose of redressal of his grievance."

Factual Matrix:

The petitioner had applied for admission to the National Institute of Design located in Gujarat for the Bachelor of Design course. The Institute conducted a centralized all-India selection process for admission which were in two stages, preliminary and main. The petitioner successfully cleared the preliminary stage.

The main examination had two components, namely, 'Studio Test' and 'Interactive Session' both of which the petitioner participated in.

When the results were announced, the Institute declared that the marks obtained by the candidates for Studio Test were not considered to prepare the list of selected students. The petitioner was aggrieved by this decision and therefore, sought directions to the respondents to recalculate the ranks taking into account the marks obtained by her for Studio Test as well.

Contentions:

When the matter was taken up for admission, the Court sought a clarification as to whether the said petition seeking relief against the respondents located in the State of Gujarat is maintainable before it.

Advocate Manu Govind appearing for the petitioner took the stand that since a part of the cause of action for instituting the writ petition has arisen within the territorial limits of the Kerala, this Court has jurisdiction to entertain the petition under Article 226(2).

Observations of the Court:

Since the tests for selection were conducted online, candidates were given the liberty to participate in the selection process from anywhere in the world. The question before the Bench was whether the High Court can entertain a writ petition merely for the reason that the petitioner has participated in the selection process online from the State of Kerala.

"Of course, since the tests for selection have been conducted online, candidates were given liberty to participate in the selection process from anywhere in the world. The question is whether this Court can entertain a writ petition merely for the reason that the petitioner has participated in the selection process online from the State of Kerala. Acceptance of the argument that the situs from where the candidate accessed the first respondent for participating in the selection process will determine the jurisdiction, would lead to a situation that the litigant would be in a position to choose his own Court for the purpose of redressel of his grievance," the Court observed 

Relying on the decision in Nakul Deo Singh v. Deputy Commandant [1999 (3) KLT 629], the Bench found that no litigant has a right to choose the Court for seeking the relief, and Article 226(2) of the Constitution does not alter that position.

Similarly, reference was made to Indian Maritime University v. Viswanathan to establish that it is now trite that a writ petition can be instituted only in a High Court within the territorial jurisdiction of which an integral part of the cause of action has arisen.

"In the case on hand, the first respondent institute is located in the State of Gujarat. The various tests which are part of the selection process have been conducted by the respondents in the State of Gujarat. The select list, which is impugned in the writ petition, has also been prepared and published by the respondents in the State of Gujarat. In other words, no part, much less any integral part of the cause of action has arisen within the territorial jurisdiction of this Court," the Court observed while dismissing the petition as non-maintainable. 

Case Title: X v National Institute of Design & Ors.

Click Here To Read Order


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