J.C. SHAH, J.
1. The appellant obtained the right to win Saltpetre from the Shamlat Deh lands vested in the Panchayat of two villages Malar and Peoda. In respect of the land in village Malar the right to win Saltpetre was to end on August 31, 1970, and the appellant had paid a sum of Rs 30,100. In respect of the land in village Peoda the right was to expire on July 31, 1970, and the appellant had paid Rs 3520. The Central Government issued a Notification on July 29, 1967, declaring Saltpetre to be a minor mineral under the Mines and Minerals (Regulation And Development) Act 67 of 1957. Thereafter the Government of Haryana issued a Notification on December 13, 1968, for holding an auction for Saltpetre in the village of Malar and another Notification, dated February 7, 1969, in respect of village Peoda. On representations made by the appellant the Government of Haryana restricted the appellant's grant which was originally for two years in each case to one year and thereafter threatened to dispossess the appellant by holding fresh auctions after the expiry of the year.
2. The appellant then filed a petition in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana for a writ restraining the State from taking any proceedings for holding auctions for the right to win Saltpetre to the prejudice of the appellant. The High Court summarily rejected the petition observing “Following the earlier two Division Bench decisions of this Court (1) ILR (1969)1 Punj and Har 680, (2) Civil Writ No. 3405 of 1968, decided on February 6, 1969, we dismiss this petition”.
3. The two judgments referred to by the High Court proceeded on the ground that the High Court would not in deciding a petition for a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution enter upon disputed questions of fact.
But whether in the present case there are disputed questions of fact of such complexity as would render it inappropriate to try in hearing a writ petition is a matter which has never been decided. There is no rule that the High Court will not try issues of fact in a writ petition. In each case the court has to consider whether the party seeking relief has an alternative remedy which is equally efficacious by a suit, whether refusal to grant relief in a writ petition may amount to denying relief, whether the claim is based substantially upon consideration of evidence oral and documentary of a complicated nature and whether the case is otherwise fit for trial in exercise of the jurisdiction to issue high prerogative writs.
4. The High Court did not call upon the State to file an affidavit and did not consider whether the facts raised were so complicated or that for other reasons it would be inappropriate to try the dispute in the writ petition.
5. In this Court the State has filed an affidavit in reply; it does not prima facie appear that there were any such complicated questions of fact which would necessitate that the appellant should be driven to a separate suit. It may also be pointed out that in a similar dispute also relating to the grant of the right to win Saltpetre by a village Panchayat decided by a Single Judge of the High Court in CW No. 1924 of 1969 relief was granted to the applicant. In our view the High Court was in error in summarily rejecting the petition filed by the appellant.
6. The appeal is allowed and the order passed by the High Court is set aside. The case is remanded to the High Court to be dealt with according to law. The High Court will call upon the State and other parties to file their replies to the petition filed by the appellant. We trust that the High Court will take early steps to hear and dispose of the petition with the least practicable delay. The costs in this appeal will be costs in the High Court.