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"High Courts Have Power To Strike Down Central Acts": Supreme Court Asks Petitioner Challenging Epidemic Act To Move HC

Mehal Jain
17 Nov 2020 6:09 AM GMT
High Courts Have Power To Strike Down Central Acts: Supreme Court Asks Petitioner Challenging Epidemic Act To Move HC
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday required the withdrawal of a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Epidemics Act, suggesting that the concerned High Court be approached."What kind of a writ petition have you filed? Don't you have something called the High Court of Judicature of Bombay?', asked Justice D. Y. Chandrachud at the outset from petitioner-in-person Harshal...

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday required the withdrawal of a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Epidemics Act, suggesting that the concerned High Court be approached.

"What kind of a writ petition have you filed? Don't you have something called the High Court of Judicature of Bombay?', asked Justice D. Y. Chandrachud at the outset from petitioner-in-person Harshal Mirashi.
"I am challenging the Epidemics Act and a circular dated March 15...it is a central Act", replied the counsel.
"So High Courts have jurisdiction in respect of central Acts. You don't have to come to the Supreme Court. You are anyway on the issue of quarantine in Maharashtra", noted Justice Chandrachud.
When the petitioner sought a direction in that behalf for approaching the High Court, the judge said,
"Why should we direct? You should approach the appropriate authority as per law. That would mean the Supreme Court felt there is something in the petition. But your contention regarding it being a central Act is misconceived. Every High Court in the country has the power to strike down a law for being in the teeth of Article 245, 246 or Part III of the Constitution"
"We have the power, but the High Courts also do have the power to consider the validity of any law or to strike it down. Since the High Courts also have the power, it is desirable to go to the High Court!", added the judge.
"Based on my limited understanding and the research I did, I inferred that central laws are struck down by the Supreme Court...", pressed the counsel.
"If you go to the library on the second floor or the one on the ground floor of the Delhi High Court, and peruse a book called D. D. Basu's Shorter Constitution, you will find that the High Courts have the power", remarked the judge.
"Sitting in the High Court, I have struck down laws", added Justice Indira Banerjee.
"So have I", commented Justice Chandrachud.
Noting that an "efficacious and alternative remedy exists before the High Court under A. 226", the bench granted the petitioner liberty to withdrawn the plea.

Click here to read/download the order




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