WP No.1151 of 2015 In the High Court at Calcutta Constitutional Writ Jurisdiction (Original Side) Karunamoy Gope Versus Coal India LTD.& ORS.Present: The Hon'ble Justice Tapash Mookherjee Dated: 7th September, 2016 Mr.Partha Ghosh, Adv.with Mr.Shamik Chatterjee, Adv.for the petitioner Mr.R.N.Mazumdar, Sr.Adv.with Mr.Amit Halder, Adv.for the Respondents.
The Court: Affidavit-in-Opposition filed on behalf of Respondent Nos.2 to 9 is taken on record.
Heard the learned Advocates of both sides.
Perused all the materials on record.
A piece of land area being 1.74 acres in Plot No.738 in Khatian No.582 of Mouza- BanSr.is involved in the present writ petition.
The petitioner claims to have purchased the said land by a registered deed of sale dated 15th May, 2013 from one Smt.
Ranjana Ganguly, who inherited the property from her father, as claimed by the petitioner.
It is claimed by the petitioner that he wanted to sell the aforesaid property to Respondent No.2, namely, Eastern Coalfields LTD.for the purpose of their operation for Open Cast Coal Mining purpose.
It is further claimed by the petitioner that Respondent No.2 in one hand is not willing to purchase the said plot of land, but on the other hand, creating disturbance in the peaceful possession and enjoyment of the land of the petitioner.
Hence, the petitioner filed the present writ petition praying for a direction upon the Respondent No.2 either to purchase the said plot of land or to restrain themselves from causing any disturbance in the peaceful possession and enjoyment of the land by the petitioner.
Mr.Ghosh, learned Advocate for the petitioner submits that he has filed a copy of the registered deed on the strength of which the petitioner purchased the land in question and copy of the record-of-right has also been filed showing that the plot of land in question stands recorded in the name of the petitioner.
Mr.Ghosh further submits that he has filed some other documents as well, from which the right, title and interest of the petitioner is established, but the respondents produced no document to justify their claim and the only document filed by them along with their Affidavit-in-Opposition itself shows that the Respondent Nos.2 to 9 failed to produce any document in support of their ownership over the land in question even before the settlement authority, and in view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the petitioner should be granted reliefs as prayed for in the writ petition.
In reply, Mr.Mazumdar, learned senior Advocate appearing for the Respondent Nos.2 to 9 submits that the land in question originally belonged to New Mangalpur Colliery and after nationalization of the Coal Mines in the year 1973, the land stood vested in Central Government and ultimately the lands came into the hand of Eastern Coalfields LTD.which is a subsidiary of Coal India LTD.He submits that under no circumstances the petitioner can claim any valid right, title and interest over the land in question.
Mr.Mazumdar further submitted that the dispute involved in the case is purely a civil dispute which should be decided only by a competent civil court and not by this court in its writ jurisdiction.
It is the choice of the Respondent Nos.2 to 9 whether they will purchase the land in question or not, and under no circumstances, they can be compelled to do so by this Court.
On perusal of the affidavits and pleadings of the parties, it is clear that the right, title and interest over the land in question is the main dispute between the parties in this case.
So, the question comes whether such a dispute can be decided in this writ petition.
According to Mr.Ghosh, the writ court has the jurisdiction to decide a dispute even when decision on facts is necessary.
He has cited the following decisions in his support.
(i) 2007(3) Supreme 52 [M/S.Popcorn Entertainment & Anr.
versus city Industrial Development Corpn.
& Anr.].(ii) 2012(6) Supreme 598 [M/S.Real Estate Agencies versus Govt.
of Goa & Ors.].(iii) Unreported judgement in a single Bench of this Court in WP No.841 of 2014 [Chandmoni Majhin versus Coal India LTD.& Ors.].In reply on the point, Mr.Mazumdar submits that it is a cardinal principle of law established since long that a writ court should not entertain or decide any matter in which complicated question of facts are involved.
In the decision reported in 2012(6) Supreme 598 (supra).High Court summarily dismissed the writ petition on the ground that an alternative remedy was available to the petitioner and such a view was disapproved by the Hon'ble Apex Court.
In paragraph-9 of the said judgement, it has been stated that although there is no universal rule or principle of law to the effect that High Court has never any jurisdiction to entertain and adjudicate disputes relating to any disputed questions of fact in its writ jurisdiction, but as a matter of prudence, High Court should not normally entertain such a dispute when conflicting claims of the parties are involved.
It has also been held in that decision that in an appropriate case, the writ court has the jurisdiction to decide the disputes even involving question of facts.
It has been further held in that judgement that it is only when the court is satisfied that there is a serious dispute between the parties on the question of ownership or title over any property, then only the High Court in its writ jurisdiction should refuse to entertain such a dispute in its writ jurisdiction.
It should be further noted here that in that case the contesting State did not claim any title to the land.
So, the decision is of no help to the petitioner.
In the case reported in 2007(3) Supreme 52 (supra).it has been held that while entertaining a writ petition, the three criterias prescribed in the case of Whirlpool Corporation versus Registrar of Trademarks, Mumbai & ORS.(1998 (8) SCC1 should always be followed.
As discussed earlier, the petitioner’s claim of right, title and interest over the land in question has been seriously disputed by the Respondent Nos.2 to 9.
The respondents have not taken any action, which is illegal or without jurisdiction or which has violated any principles of natural justice or any fundamental right of the petitioner.
There is no exceptional circumstances also in this case to entertain this writ petition.
So, this decision also does not support the petitioner’s case in any way.
Having thus regard to all the facts and circumstances of the case, I have no hesitation to hold that since the question of right, title and interest over an immovable property is involved in this case, a civil court is not only the alternative forum, but the only forum to decide such dispute.
Hence, in my considered view, the writ petition is not maintainable in law.
The writ petition is accordingly dismissed on contest without any order as to costs.