The Delhi High Court declined to hear a petition challenging letters of formal notice issued by the Senior Divisional Commercial Director of Uttar Pradesh-based East Central Railway requesting an increase in the anticipated annual license fee, due to a lack of territorial competence.
The Chamber headed by Judge Sanjeev Sachdeva, while rejecting the petition on Friday, held
“As neither the authority – the Chief Divisional Commercial Manager has its seat in Delhi, nor has any action been taken by the authority in the territory over which this court exercises jurisdiction, this Court does not would not have the territorial jurisdiction to hear this petition. “
Relying on the decision of the Delhi High Court in Jayswal Neco Ltd v Union of India & Ors, lawyer VK Shukla, representing the petitioner, argued that jurisdiction rests with the Delhi High Court as the Railway Board is located in Delhi, and the request made by the Senior Divisional Business Manager is against guidelines issued by the Railway Commission.
Noting that the invocation of the above-mentioned decision is unjustified, the Panel considered that, since the seat of the authority whose action is contested is outside the territorial limit of Delhi, the cause of action would arise outside from the territorial jurisdiction of the Delhi Supreme Court.
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Further, the Applicant is not prejudiced by any action or inaction on the part of the Railway Commission. The judiciary was not satisfied with the assertion that the request is contrary to the directives of the Railway Commission, as it is not the directive of the Railway Commission, but the request raised by the Director. senior divisional salesperson that would give rise to a cause of action.
The Bench observed,
âUnder Article 226 (1) of the Constitution, the High Court has jurisdiction to issue a summons to any person or authority having its seat in the territory over which it exercises jurisdiction. Under Section 226 (2), the High Court has the power to issue a summons to an authority which, although not having its seat in the territorial jurisdiction of the Court, but in respect of which the cause of action, in whole or in part, falls within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court.