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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Writ Petition - Territorial Jurisdiction - Disability compensation - was refused while he was in Gaya - As per interim order compensation was paid at Patna - at final hearing Patna High court dismissed the Writ - Apex court held that Prima facie, therefore, considering all the facts together, a part or fraction of cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the Patna High Court where he received a letter of refusal disentitling him from disability compensation.in our considered opinion, the writ petition ought not to have been dismissed for want of territorial jurisdiction. As noticed above, at the time when the writ petition was heard for the purpose of grant of interim relief, the respondents instead of raising any objection with regard to territorial jurisdiction opposed the prayer on the ground that the writ petitioner- appellant was offered an amount of Rs.2.75 lakhs, but he refused to accept the same and challenged the order granting severance compensation by filing the writ petition. The impugned order, therefore, cannot be sustained in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.=CIVIL APPEAL NO.7414 OF 2014 (arising out of SLP (C) No.19549 of 2013) Nawal Kishore Sharma ….Appellant(s) Versus Union of India and Others …Respondent(s) = 2014 Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41814

   Writ Petition - Territorial Jurisdiction -  Disability compensation - was refused while he was in Gaya - As per interim order compensation was paid at Patna - at final hearing Patna High court dismissed the Writ - Apex court held that Prima facie, therefore, considering all the  facts  together, a part or fraction of cause of action arose within the jurisdiction  of  the Patna High Court where he received a  letter  of  refusal  disentitling  him from disability compensation.in  our  considered opinion, the writ petition ought not to have  been  dismissed  for  want  of
territorial jurisdiction.  As noticed above,  at  the  time  when  the  writ petition was  heard  for  the  purpose  of  grant  of  interim  relief,  the respondents instead of raising any  objection  with  regard  to  territorial jurisdiction opposed the prayer on the  ground  that  the  writ  petitioner-
appellant was offered an amount of Rs.2.75 lakhs, but he refused  to  accept the same and challenged the order granting severance compensation by  filing the writ petition.  The impugned order, therefore, cannot  be  sustained  in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.=

We have perused the facts pleaded in the writ petition  and  the
documents  relied  upon  by  the  appellant.
 Indisputably,  the  appellant
reported sickness on account of various  ailments  including  difficulty  in
breathing.  He was referred to hospital.
Consequently, he  was  signed  off
for  further  medical  treatment.   Finally,  the   respondent   permanently
declared the appellant unfit for sea service due to  dilated  cardiomyopathy
(heart muscles disease).
As  a  result,  the  Shipping  Department  of  the
Government  of  India  issued  an  order   on   12.4.2011   cancelling   the
registration of the appellant as a seaman.  A copy of the  letter  was  sent
to the appellant at his native place in Bihar where he was staying after  he
was found medically unfit.
It further appears that  the  appellant  sent  a
representation from his home  in  the  State  of  Bihar  to  the  respondent
claiming disability compensation.
The said representation  was  replied  by
the respondent, which was addressed to him on  his  home  address  in  Gaya,
Bihar rejecting his  claim  for  disability  compensation.   
It  is  further
evident that when the  appellant  was  signed  off  and  declared  medically
unfit, he returned back to his home in the  District  of  Gaya,  Bihar  and,
thereafter, he made all  claims  and  filed  representation  from  his  home
address at Gaya and those letters and representations  were  entertained  by
the respondents and replied and a decision  on  those  representations  were
communicated to him on his home address  in  Bihar.  
Admittedly,  appellant
was suffering from serious heart muscles  disease  (Dilated  Cardiomyopathy)
and breathing problem which forced him to stay in  native  place,  wherefrom
he had  been  making  all  correspondence  with  regard  to  his  disability
compensation.
Prima facie, therefore, considering all the  facts  together,
a part or fraction of cause of action arose within the jurisdiction  of  the
Patna High Court where he received a  letter  of  refusal  disentitling  him
from disability compensation.


21.   Apart from that, from the counter affidavit  of  the  respondents  and
the documents annexed therewith, it reveals that  after  the  writ  petition
was filed in the Patna High Court, the  same  was  entertained  and  notices
were issued.
Pursuant to the said  notice,  the  respondents  appeared  and
participated in the proceedings in the High Court.
It further reveals  that
after hearing the counsel appearing for both the  parties,  the  High  Court
passed an interim order on 18.9.2012 directing the authorities  of  Shipping
Corporation of India to pay at least a sum of Rs.2.75 lakhs, which shall  be
subject to the result of the writ petition.
Pursuant to the  interim  order,
the respondent Shipping Corporation of India remitted  Rs.2,67,270/-  (after
deduction of income tax) to the bank account  of  the  appellant.  
 However,
when the writ petition was taken up for hearing, the  High  Court  took  the
view that no cause of action, not even a fraction of cause  of  action,  has
arisen within its territorial jurisdiction.

22.   Considering  the  entire  facts  of  the  case  narrated  hereinbefore
including the interim order passed by the  High  Court,  in  our  considered
opinion, the writ petition ought not to have  been  dismissed  for  want  of
territorial jurisdiction.
As noticed above,  at  the  time  when  the  writ
petition was  heard  for  the  purpose  of  grant  of  interim  relief,  the
respondents instead of raising any  objection  with  regard  to  territorial
jurisdiction opposed the prayer on the  ground  that  the  writ  petitioner-
appellant was offered an amount of Rs.2.75 lakhs, but he refused  to  accept
the same and challenged the order granting severance compensation by  filing
the writ petition.  The impugned order, therefore, cannot  be  sustained  in
the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.

23.  In the aforesaid, the appeal is allowed and the impugned  order  passed
by the High Court is set aside and the matter is remitted to the High  Court
for deciding the writ petition on merits.

2014 Aug. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41814


                                                              REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.7414 OF 2014
                  (arising out of SLP (C) No.19549 of 2013)


Nawal Kishore Sharma                                 ….Appellant(s)
                                   Versus
Union of India and Others                         …Respondent(s)

                                  JUDGMENT
M.Y. EQBAL, J.

1.     Leave granted.
2.    Aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 16.4.2013 passed by  learned
Single Judge of Patna High Court dismissing appellant’s  writ  petition  for
want of territorial jurisdiction, this appeal  by  special  leave  has  been
preferred by the appellant, who in November, 1988 had joined  the  off-shore
Department  of  the  Shipping  Corporation  of   India   (in   short,   “the
Corporation”) and after about eight years he was transferred from  the  off-
shore duty to a main fleet in the Foreign Going Department.

3.    It is the case of the appellant that he was  found  medically  fit  in
the medical test conducted by the Marine Medical Services in February,  2009
and thereafter,  on  29.9.2009,  an  agreement  known  as  the  articles  of
agreement for employment of seafarers  was  executed  for  appellant’s  off-
shore duty.  On 18.6.2010, when the appellant reported sickness i.e.  cough,
abdominal pain, swelling in leg and difficulty in  breathing,  he  was  sent
for medical treatment ashore at Adani, Mundra  Port.   The  Medical  Officer
ashore advised him for admission in the  Hospital  and  accordingly  he  was
signed off for further medical treatment.   Thereafter,  he  was  considered
permanently unfit for sea  service  due  to  dilated  cardiomyopathy  (heart
muscle disease) as per certificate dated 18.3.2011 issued  by  Corporation’s
Assistant Medical Officer.  Consequently, the  Shipping  Department  of  the
Government  of  India,  Mumbai  issued  order  dated  12.4.2011   cancelling
registration of the appellant as a Seaman.

4.    It is contended by the appellant that after he settled at  his  native
place Gaya, Bihar, he sent several letters/ representations  from  there  to
the respondents for his financial claims as  per  statutory  provisions  and
terms of contract.  On the disability compensation claim,  Respondent  no.2-
Corporation  communicated  vide  letter  dated  7.10.2011  that  since   the
appellant was declared unfit for sea service due to heart  problem  (organic
ailment)  he  will  be  entitled  to  receive  severance   compensation   of
Rs.2,75,000/-,  which  was  although  offered,  but  not  accepted  by   the
appellant.   It was also  informed  that  he  is  not  entitled  to  receive
disability compensation,  which  becomes  payable  only  in  case  a  seaman
becomes incapacitated as a result of the injury.

5.    By filing a writ petition, the appellant approached Patna  High  Court
under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for grant of various  reliefs
including 100% disability compensation and pecuniary damages.   However,  at
the time of hearing, respondents raised the question of  maintainability  of
the writ petition on the ground that no cause of action or even  a  fraction
of cause of action arose within the territorial jurisdiction  of  the  Patna
High  Court  and  contended  that  the  appellant  was  appointed   by   the
Corporation on the post of Seaman for off-shore services and  he  discharged
his duty outside the territory of the State of Bihar.  It  is  the  case  of
the respondent that the order declaring the appellant permanently  unfit  as
well as the letter/order dated 7.10.2011 was passed by an authority  of  the
respondent Corporation at Mumbai.   Per  contra,  it  is  the  case  of  the
appellant that he is a permanent resident  of  Bihar  and  he  asserted  his
rights in the  State  of  Bihar  and  all  communications  with  respect  to
rejection of his claims were made at his residential address  in  the  State
of Bihar.
6.     After  hearing  learned  counsel  appearing  for  the   parties   and
considering entire materials on record, learned Single Judge  of  the  Patna
High Court dismissed the writ petition of  the  appellant  holding  that  no
cause of action, not even a fraction of cause of action,  arose  within  its
territorial jurisdiction.  Hence, the present appeal by special leave.

7.    We have heard learned counsel appearing for the parties.
8.    The short question that falls for consideration in the  facts  of  the
present case is that as to whether  the  Patna  High  Court  is  correct  in
taking the view that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the writ  petition.
 For answering the said question we would like to consider the provision  of
Article  226  of  the  Constitution  as  it  stood   prior   to   amendment.
Originally, Article 226 of the Constitution read as under:-
“Art.226.  Power  of  High  Courts   to   issue   certain   writs.   –   (1)
Notwithstanding anything in article 32, every High Court shall  have  power,
throughout the territories in relation to which it  exercises  jurisdiction,
to issue to any person or authority,  including  in  appropriate  cases  any
Government, within those territories directions, orders or writs,  including
writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus,  prohibition,  quo  warranto
and certiorari, or any of them or the  enforcement  of  any  of  the  rights
conferred by Part III and for any other purpose.
(2)   The power conferred on a High Court by clause  (1)  shall  not  be  in
derogation of the power conferred on the Supreme  Court  by  clause  (2)  of
article 32”.


9.    While interpreting the aforesaid provision the Constitution  Bench  of
this Court in the case of Election Commission, India vs. Saka  Venkata  Rao,
AIR 1953 SC 210,  held  that  the  writ  court  would  not  run  beyond  the
territories  subject  to  its  jurisdiction  and  that  the  person  or  the
authority affected by the writ must  be  amenable  to  court’s  jurisdiction
either by residence or location within those  territories.   The  rule  that
cause of action  attracts  jurisdiction  in  suits  is  based  on  statutory
enactment and cannot  apply  to  writs  issued  under  Article  226  of  the
Constitution which makes no reference to any cause of  action  or  where  it
arises but insist on the presence of the  person  or  authority  within  the
territories in relation to which  High  Court  exercises  jurisdiction.   In
another Constitution Bench judgment of this Court in  K.S.  Rashid  and  Son
vs. Income tax Investigation Commission Etc., AIR 1954 SC  207,  this  Court
took the similar view and held that  the  writ  court  cannot  exercise  its
power under Article 226 beyond its territorial jurisdiction.  The Court  was
of the view that the exercise of power conferred by Article 226 was  subject
to a two-fold limitation viz., firstly, the power  is  to  be  exercised  in
relation to which it exercises jurisdiction  and  secondly,  the  person  or
authority on whom the High Court is empowered to issue writ must  be  within
those  territories.   These  two  Constitution  Bench  judgments  came   for
consideration before a larger Bench of seven Judges of  this  Court  in  the
case of Lt. Col. Khajoor Singh  vs.  Union of India and  another,  AIR  1961
SC 532.  The  Bench  approved  the  aforementioned  two  Constitution  Bench
judgments and opined that unless there are  clear  and  compelling  reasons,
which cannot be  denied,  writ  court  cannot  exercise  jurisdiction  under
Article 226 of the Constitution beyond its territorial jurisdiction.

10.   The interpretation given by this  Court  in  the  aforesaid  decisions
resulted in undue hardship and inconvenience to the citizens to invoke  writ
jurisdiction.  As a result, Clause 1(A) was inserted in Article 226  by  the
Constitution (15th) Amendment  Act,  1963  and  subsequently  renumbered  as
Clause (2) by the Constitution (42nd)  Amendment  Act,  1976.   The  amended
Clause (2) now reads as under:-
“226. Power of the High Courts to issue certain writs – (1)  Notwithstanding
anything in article 32,  every High Court shall have power,  throughout  the
territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to  any
person or authority, including in appropriate cases, any Government,  within
those territories directions,  orders  or  writs,  including  writs  in  the
nature  of  habeas  corpus,  mandamus,   prohibition,   quo   warranto   and
certiorari, or any of them,  for  the  enforcement  of  any  of  the  rights
conferred by Part III and for any other purpose.
(2)   The power conferred by Clause  (1)  to  issue  directions,  orders  or
writs to any Government, authority or person may also be  exercised  by  any
High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation  to  the  territories  within
which the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises  for  the  exercise  of
such power, notwithstanding that the seat of such  Government  or  authority
or the residence of such person is not within those territories.
(3)   xxxxx
(4)   xxxxx”

11.   On a plain reading of the amended provisions  in  Clause  (2),  it  is
clear that now High Court can issue a writ when the person or the  authority
against  whom  the  writ  is  issued  is  located  outside  its  territorial
jurisdiction, if the cause of action wholly or partially arises  within  the
court’s territorial  jurisdiction.  Cause  of  action  for  the  purpose  of
Article 226 (2) of the Constitution, for all  intent  and  purpose  must  be
assigned the same meaning as envisaged under Section 20(c) of  the  Code  of
Civil Procedure.  The expression  cause  of  action  has  not  been  defined
either in the Code of Civil Procedure or the Constitution. Cause  of  action
is bundle of facts which is necessary for the  plaintiff  to  prove  in  the
suit before he can succeed.

12.   The term ‘cause of  action’  as  appearing  in  Clause  (2)  came  for
consideration time and again before this Court.

13.   In the case  of  State  of  Rajasthan  and  Others   vs.   M/s  Swaika
Properties and Another, (1985) 3 SCC 217, the fact was that the  respondent-
Company having its registered office in Calcutta owned certain land  on  the
outskirts of Jaipur City was served with  notice  for  acquisition  of  land
under Rajasthan Urban Improvement Act, 1959.  Notice was duly served on  the
Company at its registered office at Calcutta.  The Company,  first  appeared
before the Special Court and finally the Calcutta High  Court  by  filing  a
writ petition challenging  the  notification  of  acquisition.   The  matter
ultimately came  before this Court to answer a question as  to  whether  the
service of notice under Section 52(2) of the Act at  the  registered  office
of the Respondent in Calcutta was an integral part of cause  of  action  and
was it sufficient to invest the Calcutta High Court with a  jurisdiction  to
entertain the petition challenging  the  impugned  notification.   Answering
the question this Court held:-
“7. Upon these facts, we are satisfied that  the  cause  of  action  neither
wholly nor in part arose within the territorial limits of the Calcutta  High
Court and therefore the learned Single Judge had no jurisdiction to issue  a
rule nisi on the petition filed by the respondents under Article 226 of  the
Constitution  or  to  make  the  ad  interim  ex  parte  prohibitory   order
restraining the appellants from taking any steps to take possession  of  the
land  acquired.  Under  sub-section  (5)  of  Section  52  of  the  Act  the
appellants were entitled to require the respondents to surrender or  deliver
possession of the lands acquired forthwith and upon their failure to do  so,
take immediate  steps  to  secure  such  possession  under  sub-section  (6)
thereof.
[pic]8. The expression “cause of action” is tersely defined in Mulla’s  Code
of Civil Procedure:
“The ‘cause of action’ means every fact which, if  traversed,  it  would  be
necessary for the plaintiff to prove in order to  support  his  right  to  a
judgment of the court.”
In other words, it is a bundle of facts which taken with the law  applicable
to them gives the plaintiff a right to relief  against  the  defendant.  The
mere service of notice under Section 52(2) of the Act on the respondents  at
their registered office at 18-B, Brabourne Road, Calcutta  i.e.  within  the
territorial limits of the State of West Bengal, could not  give  rise  to  a
cause of action within that territory unless the service of such notice  was
an integral part of  the  cause  of  action.  The  entire  cause  of  action
culminating in the acquisition of the land under Section 52(1)  of  the  Act
arose  within  the  State  of  Rajasthan   i.e.   within   the   territorial
jurisdiction of the Rajasthan High Court at the Jaipur Bench. The answer  to
the question whether service of notice is an integral part of the  cause  of
action within the meaning of Article 226(2) of the Constitution must  depend
upon the nature of the impugned order giving rise to a cause of action.  The
notification dated February 8, 1984 issued by  the  State  Government  under
Section 52(1) of the Act became effective the moment  it  was  published  in
the Official Gazette as thereupon the notified land  became  vested  in  the
State Government free from all encumbrances. It was not  necessary  for  the
respondents to plead the service of notice on them by the  Special  Officer,
Town Planning Department, Jaipur under Section 52(2) for  the  grant  of  an
appropriate writ, direction or order under Article 226 of  the  Constitution
for quashing the notification issued by the State Government  under  Section
52(1) of the Act. If the respondents felt aggrieved by  the  acquisition  of
their lands situate at Jaipur and wanted to challenge the  validity  of  the
notification issued by the  State  Government  of  Rajasthan  under  Section
52(1) of the Act by a petition under Article 226 of  the  Constitution,  the
remedy of the respondents for the grant of such relief had to be  sought  by
filing such a petition before the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench,  where
the cause of action wholly or in part arose.”


14.   This provision was again considered by this Court in the case  of  Oil
and Natural Gas Commission  vs.  Utpal Kumar Basu and others, (1994)  4  SCC
711.  In this case the petitioner Oil  and  Natural  Gas  Commission  (ONGC)
through  its  consultant   Engineers   India   Limited   (EIL)   issued   an
advertisement in the newspaper inviting tenders for setting up  of  Kerosene
Recovery Processing Unit in Gujarat mentioning that the  tenders  containing
offers were to be communicated to EIL, New Delhi.  After the final  decision
was taken by the Steering Committee  at  New  Delhi,  the  respondent  NICCO
moved the Calcutta High Court praying that ONGC be restrained from  awarding
the contract to any other party.  It was pleaded in the petition that  NICCO
came to know of the tender from the publication  in  the  “Times  of  India”
within the jurisdiction of the Calcutta High Court.  This Court  by  setting
aside the order passed by the Calcutta High  Court  came  to  the  following
conclusion :-
“6.  Therefore,  in  determining  the  objection  of  lack  of   territorial
jurisdiction the court must take all the facts pleaded  in  support  of  the
cause of action into consideration albeit without embarking upon an  enquiry
as to the correctness or otherwise of the said facts.  In  other  words  the
question whether a High Court has territorial jurisdiction  to  entertain  a
writ petition must be answered on the basis of the  averments  made  in  the
petition, the truth  or  otherwise  whereof  being  immaterial.  To  put  it
differently, the question of territorial jurisdiction  must  be  decided  on
the facts pleaded in the petition. Therefore, the question  whether  in  the
instant case the Calcutta High  Court  had  jurisdiction  to  entertain  and
decide the writ petition in question even on the facts alleged  must  depend
upon whether the averments made in paragraphs 5, 7, 18, 22, 26  and  43  are
sufficient in law to establish that a  part  of  the  cause  of  action  had
arisen within the jurisdiction of the Calcutta High Court.”


15.   In Kusum Ingots & Alloys Ltd. vs. Union of India and  Another,  (2004)
6 SCC 254, this Court elaborately discussed Clause (2)  of  Article  226  of
the Constitution, particularly the meaning of the  word  ‘cause  of  action’
with reference to Section 20(c)  and  Section  141  of  the  Code  of  Civil
Procedure and observed:-
“9. Although in view of Section 141 of  the  Code  of  Civil  Procedure  the
provisions thereof would not apply  to  writ  proceedings,  the  phraseology
used in Section 20(c) of the Code of  Civil  Procedure  and  clause  (2)  of
Article 226, being in pari materia, the decisions of this Court rendered  on
interpretation of Section 20(c) CPC shall  apply  to  the  writ  proceedings
also. Before proceeding to discuss the matter further it may be pointed  out
that the entire bundle of facts pleaded  need  not  constitute  a  cause  of
action as what is necessary to be proved before the petitioner can obtain  a
decree is the material facts. The expression material facts  is  also  known
as integral facts.
10. Keeping in view the expressions used in clause (2)  of  Article  226  of
the Constitution of India, indisputably even if a small  fraction  of  cause
of action accrues within the jurisdiction of the Court, the Court will  have
jurisdiction in the matter.”

      Their Lordships further observed as under:-

“29. In view of clause (2) of Article 226 of the Constitution of India,  now
if a part of cause of action arises outside the  jurisdiction  of  the  High
Court, it would have jurisdiction to issue a writ. The decision  in  Khajoor
Singh has, thus, no application.

30. We must, however, remind ourselves that even if a small  part  of  cause
of action arises within the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court,  the
same  by  itself  may  not  be  considered  to  be  a  determinative  factor
compelling the High Court to decide the  matter  on  merit.  In  appropriate
cases, the Court may refuse to exercise its  discretionary  jurisdiction  by
invoking the doctrine of forum conveniens.”


16.   In the case of Union of India and others vs. Adani  Exports  Ltd.  and
another, (2002) 1  SCC  567,  this  Court  held  that  in  order  to  confer
jurisdiction on a High Court to entertain a writ petition it  must  disclose
that the integral facts pleaded  in  support  of  the  cause  of  action  do
constitute a cause so as to empower the court to decide the dispute and  the
entire or a part of it arose within its jurisdiction. Each  and  every  fact
pleaded by the respondents in their application does not ipso facto lead  to
the conclusion that those facts give rise to a cause of  action  within  the
Court’s territorial jurisdiction unless those facts are such  which  have  a
nexus or relevance with the lis  i.e. involved  in  the  case.   This  Court
observed:
“17. It is seen from the above that in order to  confer  jurisdiction  on  a
High Court to entertain a writ petition or a special  civil  application  as
in this case, the High  Court  must  be  satisfied  from  the  entire  facts
pleaded in support of the cause of action that those facts do  constitute  a
cause so as to empower the court to decide a dispute which has, at least  in
part, arisen within its jurisdiction. It is clear from  the  above  judgment
that each and every fact pleaded by the  respondents  in  their  application
does not ipso facto lead to the conclusion that those facts give rise  to  a
cause of action within the court’s  territorial  jurisdiction  unless  those
facts pleaded are such which have a nexus or relevance with the lis that  is
involved in the case. Facts which have no [pic]bearing with the lis  or  the
dispute involved in the case, do not give rise to a cause of  action  so  as
to confer territorial jurisdiction on the court concerned. If we apply  this
principle then we see that none of the facts  pleaded  in  para  16  of  the
petition, in our opinion, falls into the category of bundle of  facts  which
would constitute a cause of action giving rise  to  a  dispute  which  could
confer territorial jurisdiction on the courts at Ahmedabad.”

17.   In Om Prakash Srivastava  vs.  Union of India and  Another   (2006)  6
SCC 207,  answering a similar question this Court observed that on  a  plain
reading of Clause(2) of Article 226 it is manifestly  clear  that  the  High
Court can exercise  power  to  issue  direction,  order  or  writs  for  the
enforcement of any of the fundamental rights or for  any  other  purpose  if
the  cause  of  action  in  relation  to  which  it  exercises  jurisdiction
notwithstanding that  the  seat  of  the  Government  or  authority  or  the
residence of the person against whom the direction, order or writ is  issued
is not within the said territory. In para 7 this Court observed:-
“7. The question whether or not cause  of  action  wholly  or  in  part  for
filing a writ petition has arisen within the territorial limits of any  High
Court has to be decided in the light of the  nature  and  character  of  the
proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution. In order  to  maintain  a
writ petition, a writ  petitioner  has  to  establish  that  a  legal  right
claimed by him has prima facie either been infringed or is threatened to  be
infringed by the respondent within the territorial  limits  of  the  Court’s
jurisdiction and such infringement may take  place  by  causing  him  actual
injury or threat thereof.”
igh Courts

18.        In  the  case  of    Rajendran  Chingaravelu  vs.  R.K.   Mishra,
Additional Commissioner of Income Tax and Others,  (2010) 1  SCC  457,  this
Court while considering the scope of Article  226(2)  of  the  Constitution,
particularly the  cause  of  action in maintaining a writ petition, held  as
under:

“9. The first question that arises for consideration is whether  the  Andhra
Pradesh High Court was justified in holding that as the seizure  took  place
at Chennai (Tamil Nadu), the appellant could not maintain the writ  petition
before it. The High Court did not examine  whether  any  part  of  cause  of
action arose in Andhra Pradesh. Clause (2) of Article  226  makes  it  clear
that the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to  the  territories
within which the cause of  action  arises  wholly  or  in  part,  will  have
jurisdiction. This would mean that even if a small fraction of the cause  of
action (that bundle of facts which gives  a  petitioner,  a  right  to  sue)
accrued within the territories of Andhra Pradesh, the  High  Court  of  that
State will have jurisdiction.

xxxxxx

11. Normally, we would have set aside the order and remitted the  matter  to
the High Court for decision on merits. But from the  persuasive  submissions
of the appellant, who appeared in person on various dates  of  hearing,  two
things stood out. Firstly,  it  was  clear  that  the  main  object  of  the
petition was to ensure that at least in future, passengers like him are  not
put to unnecessary harassment or undue hardship at the airports. He wants  a
direction  for  issuance  of  clear  guidelines  and  instructions  to   the
inspecting  officers,   and   introduction   of   definite   and   efficient
verification/investigation procedures.  He  wants  changes  in  the  present
protocol  where  the  officers  are  uncertain  of  what  to  do  and   seek
instructions and indefinitely wait for clearances from higher-ups  for  each
and every routine step, resulting in the detention of passengers  for  hours
and  hours.  In  short,  he   wants   the   enquiries,   verifications   and
investigations to be efficient, passenger-friendly and courteous.  Secondly,
he wants the  Department/officers  concerned  to  acknowledge  that  he  was
unnecessarily harassed.”


19.   Regard being had to the discussion made hereinabove, there  cannot  be
any doubt that the question whether or not cause  of  action  wholly  or  in
part for filing a writ petition has arisen within the territorial  limit  of
any High Court has to be decided in the light of the  nature  and  character
of the proceedings under Article 226  of  the  Constitution.   In  order  to
maintain a writ petition, the petitioner  has  to  establish  that  a  legal
right claimed by him has  been  infringed  by  the  respondents  within  the
territorial limit of the Court’s jurisdiction.



20.         We have perused the facts pleaded in the writ petition  and  the
documents  relied  upon  by  the  appellant.   Indisputably,  the  appellant
reported sickness on account of various  ailments  including  difficulty  in
breathing.  He was referred to hospital.  Consequently, he  was  signed  off
for  further  medical  treatment.   Finally,  the   respondent   permanently
declared the appellant unfit for sea service due to  dilated  cardiomyopathy
(heart muscles disease).  As  a  result,  the  Shipping  Department  of  the
Government  of  India  issued  an  order   on   12.4.2011   cancelling   the
registration of the appellant as a seaman.  A copy of the  letter  was  sent
to the appellant at his native place in Bihar where he was staying after  he
was found medically unfit.  It further appears that  the  appellant  sent  a
representation from his home  in  the  State  of  Bihar  to  the  respondent
claiming disability compensation.  The said representation  was  replied  by
the respondent, which was addressed to him on  his  home  address  in  Gaya,
Bihar rejecting his  claim  for  disability  compensation.   It  is  further
evident that when the  appellant  was  signed  off  and  declared  medically
unfit, he returned back to his home in the  District  of  Gaya,  Bihar  and,
thereafter, he made all  claims  and  filed  representation  from  his  home
address at Gaya and those letters and representations  were  entertained  by
the respondents and replied and a decision  on  those  representations  were
communicated to him on his home address  in  Bihar.   Admittedly,  appellant
was suffering from serious heart muscles  disease  (Dilated  Cardiomyopathy)
and breathing problem which forced him to stay in  native  place,  wherefrom
he had  been  making  all  correspondence  with  regard  to  his  disability
compensation.  Prima facie, therefore, considering all the  facts  together,
a part or fraction of cause of action arose within the jurisdiction  of  the
Patna High Court where he received a  letter  of  refusal  disentitling  him
from disability compensation.


21.   Apart from that, from the counter affidavit  of  the  respondents  and
the documents annexed therewith, it reveals that  after  the  writ  petition
was filed in the Patna High Court, the  same  was  entertained  and  notices
were issued.  Pursuant to the said  notice,  the  respondents  appeared  and
participated in the proceedings in the High Court.  It further reveals  that
after hearing the counsel appearing for both the  parties,  the  High  Court
passed an interim order on 18.9.2012 directing the authorities  of  Shipping
Corporation of India to pay at least a sum of Rs.2.75 lakhs, which shall  be
subject to the result of the writ petition. Pursuant to the  interim  order,
the respondent Shipping Corporation of India remitted  Rs.2,67,270/-  (after
deduction of income tax) to the bank account  of  the  appellant.   However,
when the writ petition was taken up for hearing, the  High  Court  took  the
view that no cause of action, not even a fraction of cause  of  action,  has
arisen within its territorial jurisdiction.

22.   Considering  the  entire  facts  of  the  case  narrated  hereinbefore
including the interim order passed by the  High  Court,  in  our  considered
opinion, the writ petition ought not to have  been  dismissed  for  want  of
territorial jurisdiction.  As noticed above,  at  the  time  when  the  writ
petition was  heard  for  the  purpose  of  grant  of  interim  relief,  the
respondents instead of raising any  objection  with  regard  to  territorial
jurisdiction opposed the prayer on the  ground  that  the  writ  petitioner-
appellant was offered an amount of Rs.2.75 lakhs, but he refused  to  accept
the same and challenged the order granting severance compensation by  filing
the writ petition.  The impugned order, therefore, cannot  be  sustained  in
the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.

23.  In the aforesaid, the appeal is allowed and the impugned  order  passed
by the High Court is set aside and the matter is remitted to the High  Court
for deciding the writ petition on merits.




                                                              …………………………….J.
                                                              (Ranjan Gogoi)



                                                              …………………………….J.
                                                                (M.Y. Eqbal)
New Delhi,
August 7, 2014.

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