Property disputes between private parties: Not a fit case for High Courts to interfere under Article 226 of the Constitution

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Dhiraj Singh Thakur, J., dismissed a writ petition filed against the actions of private respondents 6 to 13, whereby respondents were interfering with the property owned by the petitioner.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the writ petition filed by the petitioner was maintainable.

The Court observed that in the Supreme Court judgment of Mohan Pandey v. Usha Rani Rajgaria, (1992) 4 SCC 61, it was held that a regular suit is the appropriate remedy for settlement of disputes relating to property rights between private persons and that the remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution of India shall not be available except where violation of some statutory duty on the part of a statutory authority is alleged. In such a case, the court will issue appropriate direction to the authority concerned. It is not intended to replace the ordinary remedies by way of a suit or application available to a litigant. The jurisdiction is special and extra-ordinary and should not be exercised casually or lightly.

The Court held that in the instant matter, the dispute between the parties was a property dispute which could be well resolved by filing a suit before the appropriate court. Further, the parties involved in the matter were private parties and not statutory authorities. The Court refused to interfere in the matter and the writ petition was dismissed.[Kuldeep Singh v. State of J&K,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 806, order dated 03-11-2018]

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