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Corporate Lawyer: The parties by an agreement cannot oust the Writ jurisdiction of the High Court; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Indira Banerjee

The SC was considering the issue whether the parties by a private agreement can oust the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India of the High Court?

It was held by the SC {Maharashtra Chess Association v.Union of India & Ors.} that in the present case the High Court has solely refused to exercise its jurisdiction because of clause 21 of the agreement, which says that the Courts at Chennai would have exclusive jurisdiction in case of dispute. It was further held that the HC failed to examine the case holistically and make a considered determination as to whether or not it should exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226. It was held that it is not open to the High Court to abdicate this responsibility under Article 226 merely due to the existence of a privately negotiated document of ousting its jurisdiction.

While setting aside the judgement of the High Court and remanding the matter back for fresh consideration, it was held by the SC that there is no absolute bar in exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 in case of availability of alternative remedy rather it is self imposed restraint. While dealing with Art 226, the High Court has to see the case holistically while deciding, whether to or not to, exercise the jurisdiction, as the jurisdiction of the High Court is without any limitation under Art 226. 

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