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High Courts Ought Not To Entertain Writ Petitions Filed Bypassing Statutory Alternative Remedies : Supreme Court

Ashok KM
22 Sep 2022 1:48 PM GMT
High Courts Ought Not To Entertain Writ Petitions Filed Bypassing  Statutory Alternative Remedies : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that High Courts should refrain from excercising writ jurisdiction there is an alternate remedy available.

When there is an alternate remedy available, judicial prudence demands that the court refrains from exercising its jurisdiction under constitutional provisions, the bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed.

The bench observed thus while allowing an appeal filed against a judgment of High Court which allowed a writ petition filed against an order passed by Assessing Officer determining the tax liability along with interest and penalty under Maharashtra Value Added Tax, 2002 and Central Sales Tax Act, 1956.

Advocate Sachin Patil, for the appellants, contended that against the assessment order passed by the Assessing Officer under the provisions of the MVAT Act and CST Act, the High Court ought not to have entertained the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The assessee had a statutory alternative remedy available by way of appeal before the first appellate authority and the said remedy ought to have been pursued, it was urged. Senior Advocate Rafique Dada justified the impugned judgment contending that for an earlier assessment order, there was a decision against the assessee by the first appellate authority on merits and therefore it may be a formality to prefer an appeal before the first appellate authority and hence the writ petitioner rightly filed the writ petition before the High Court.

The bench observed that the High Court ought not to have entertained the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the assessment order in view of the availability of statutory remedy under the Act. The bench said:

"It is required to be noted that against the assessment order passed by the Assessing Officer under the provisions of the MVAT Act and CST Act, the assessee straightway preferred writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. It is not in dispute that the statutes provide for the right of appeal against the assessment order passed by the Assessing Officer and against the order passed by the first appellate authority, an appeal/revision before the Tribunal. In that view of the matter, the High Court ought not to have entertained the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the assessment order in view of the availability of statutory remedy under the Act."

The court observed that the question is not about the maintainability of the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, but about the entertainability of the writ petition against the order of assessment by-passing the statutory remedy of appeal.

Case details

State of Maharashtra vs Greatship (India) Limited | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 784 | CA 4956 OF 2022 | 20 September 2022 | Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna

Headnotes

Constitutioon of India, 1950 ; Article 226 - Maharashtra Value Added Tax, 2002 - Central Sales Tax Act, 1956 - The Statute provide for the right of appeal against the assessment order passed by the Assessing Officer and against the order passed by the first appellate authority, an appeal/revision before the Tribunal - The High Court ought not to have entertained the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the assessment order in view of the availability of statutory remedy under the Act - The question is not about the maintainability of the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, but about the entertainability of the writ petition against the order of assessment by-passing the statutory remedy of appeal - Referred to United Bank of India v. Satyawati Tondon and others (2010) 8 SCC 110. (Para 6-8)

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