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Manish Singh (Advocate)     11 August 2009

Territorial Jurisdiction of High Courts in Writ matters

Dear All,

Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution in 1963 inserted a new clause to Art 226 as Clause 1A which alterd the earlier position on territorial jurisdiction of High Courts under tier Writ Jurisdiction. Earlier teritorial jurisdiction was extremely limited and was extende to the jurisdiction where the authroity/person state has its main/cheif office etc.This was also upheld and interpreted by the Apex Court and as well as several High Courts. so a need arose to amend the said Art not to cause hardship to the poor sufferers and accordingly it was amended. A recent SC ruling throws much light on the jurisdiction as well as interpretation of the term "cause of action". 

 we can file a writ where the cause of action,may be in a part, has arisen, apart from the freedom of filing it at the registered place/business place/ head office of the state/department etc, but the cause of action must be determined basing on facts and circumstances keeping in mind the substance of the same.

Please go through the following recent judgment of the Apex Court on the same subject with good explanation over it.

"Alchemist Limited and Another Vs. State Bank of Sikkim and Others Decided on 16/03/2007"


 13 Replies

Rajesh Kumar (Advocate)     14 August 2009

Thanks Manish for this valuable contribution.

In fact the amendemnt expanded the scope of jurisdiction. The clause based on place of residence of defendant remains as it is, and over and above that clause, clause of cause of action was introduced. The clause of cause of action never curtailed the ambit of earlier clause of jurisdiction.

Despite this the courts are not interested in hearing writ petition, very eager to dismiss the petition on flimsy ground of jurisdiction without understanding the constitutional provisions.

1 Like

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     18 August 2009

Thank you Manish, for the citation.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     18 August 2009

Yes, Rajeshsh, Judges should first marshalled the facts and see the legal points involved and the reasons for the decision before it dismissed the valuable rights of the aggrieved party in just one stroke.

Manish Singh (Advocate)     18 August 2009

Dear Rajesh Sir & Assumi Sir,

thakns for your appreciation. yes sr i agree that the sad amendment widenend the scope of the writ jurisdiction of the HC since earlier to that, the HC  wuld acutely refuse to entertatin any writ against any authroity if the head office of the same did not exist  in  that jurisdiction. the sam case was with the union govt as whenevr we had to file file a writ against the union govt we were bound to move the Delhi HC,(infact punjab and haryana HC as initially Delhi HC was not in existence) it was seriously an unconstitutional provision. 

the said  amended article has been renamed only under a subsequent amendment.  

concerning the cause of action, yes i do agree with your valuable opinions that judiciary must excercise its descretion with due care and not on its own whim. sometimes even high court they do not apply mind over any issue. this must be discouraged..


Rajesh Kumar (Advocate)     19 August 2009

The other point which is not understood about Art 226 that it is not a "procedural provision", it is a substantive right. In fact Dr. Ambedkar was wrong in saying that Art. 32 is the heart of constitution, it is in fact Art 226.

Thus a petition under Art 226 should not be dismissed lightly, in limine, as it is denial of a substantive right of the petitioner.

1 Like

AMOL (Sub-Inspector)     20 January 2011


I was a sub-Inspector in CISF ( head office at Delhi). when i was posted at Mumbai i was served final order " removal from service" there. I submitted appeal to The DIG,  zonal Hq , Hyderabad and  as per rule i vacated govt. quarters and returned back to my native place patna bihar. I received reply of that appeal in negative by post at my native place patna . Then i again by post submitted revision petition to the IG, Sector Hq , Mumbai and received reply of that by post in negative at my native place patna. now i want to file writ petition at Patna high court. kindly guide can i file writ petition in patna considering territorial jurisdiction of high courts in writ matters. 

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     20 January 2011

yes jurisdiction is there for bihar hc to summon to the mumbai, moreover now you are jobless - it will favour you.

normally the jurisdiction limited to the state but a court of india has the jurisdiction to summon  all over india.


i am not advocate; please check what other says.

1 Like

Rajesh Kumar (Advocate)     21 January 2011

Patna High Court has jurisdiction to entertain the petition. The final order has been received in Patna. Further, the effect of action has been felt in Patna. In view of these, part of cause of action has arisen in Patna, and Patna High Court has jurisdiction to entertain the petition.

2 Like

Manish Singh (Advocate)     21 January 2011


I would like to slightly correct my above mentioned statement :

The scope of territorial jurisdiction surely have been enlarged but still decisions of higher courts has laid down that while entertaining a writ by the HIGh Court, they must have due consideration over the cause of action whether in part or as a whole and that "part cause of action" must form an integral part of the cause of action.

I am afraid to state that while interpreting cause of action, the Apex Court has quite narrowed down the scope of its applicability on territorial jurisdiction under ART 226 thus restraining litigants in filing writs at their whims. Even in cases, where it seems it could have been a part cause of action for territorial jurisdicition u/ART 226, the Apex Court ruled against the said part cause of action. 

Still this legality shall see several other interpretations in near future with efflux of time.

3 Like

AMOL (Sub-Inspector)     22 January 2011

Thanks to all ,

Dear Manish Singh,

I request  for your opinion also in specially my case. 

1 Like

Manish Singh (Advocate)     24 January 2011

I have sent you a PM.

AMOL (Sub-Inspector)     30 January 2011


Can i notarize my drafted writ petition at Patna and send it by courier to my advocate in mumbai to file it in mumbai High court. Actually i want this to avoid journey there mere for filing writ petition in mumbai. 

Manish Singh (Advocate)     25 February 2011

you sign it and send it to your lawyer..he would get it notarised..

even you can get it notarised at patna and then send harm in that

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