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A private body, would be amenable to writ jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution: J&K&L High Court

A private body, would be amenable to writ jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution: J&K&L High Court

On December 30, a single-judge bench of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that when a private body is subject to writ jurisdiction, judicial review powers are limited to actions involving an element of public duty. The bench, led by Justice Sanjay Dhar, drew support from the Supreme Court's decision in BCCI vs. Cricket Association of Bihar and others, (2015), and found merit in the petitioner's argument that the Board of Control for Cricket in India is not a state under Article 12 but is subject to writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, and accordingly observed that JKCA, as a constituent of BCCI, becomes subject to the High Court's writ.

Justice Dhar observed, while explaining the law on the subject, "The words “any person or authority” used in Article 226 of the Constitution not only includes the statutory authorities and instrumentalities of the State but it also includes “any person or authority” performing public duties. Since the JKCA, by the logic adopted by the Supreme Court in Board of Control for Cricket in India’s case (supra), also performs the public functions like selection of team for UT of J&K, maintenance of infrastructure, running of cricket academies etc is amenable to writ jurisdiction of the High Court." The bench also stated that while a state or an instrumentality of a state is subject to writ jurisdiction even in cases arising from a contractual obligation, this may not be the case when the contractual obligation is sought to be enforced against a person or authority that is not a state or an instrumentality of a state. Based on the preceding discussion, the court upheld the objection to the writ petition's maintainability and dismissed the petition.

The court was hearing a petition in which the petitioner asked the respondent Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (a constituent of the Board of Cricket Control in India) to release his withheld admitted liability of Rs.6.00 crores. 

Case Title: M/S Aisha Constitution Vs JKCA
Citation: OWP No.1521/2018
Link: https://hcservices.ecourts.gov.in/ecourtindiaHC/cases/display_pdf.php?filename=rC8SUFuyEFsvB5V61cXUrOiUNg4cg4YVJY9DnmPaOWwqZlA2VAcSNV7cNN2T8Knx&caseno=OWP/1521/2018&cCode=2&appFlag=

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