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Monday, April 25, 2011


Money claims are normally to be filed before the trial/Jurisdictional Courts. High Courts normally do not entertain writ petition to settle the money claims between parties. A Supreme Court decision provides principle governing the settlement of the money claims between parties by High Court under writ.

Normally money claims are not entertained in the writ petition, but the bar is not absolute.

Apex court in Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd V State of Maharashtra & Ors5, by referring to various other judgments, had made the following observations:

(1) Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India will not be entertained to enforce a civil liability arising out of breach of a contract or a tort to pay an amount of money due to the claimants. The aggrieved party will have to agitate the question in a civil suit. But an order for payment of money may be made in writ proceedings, in enforcement of statutory functions of the state or its officers. [Burmah Construction Co. V State of Orissa; AIR 1962 SC 1320]

(2) High Court will enforcing the fundamental or statutory rights, has the power to give consequential relief by ordering payment of money realized by the Government without the authority of law. [Madhya Pradesh V Bhailal bhai; AIR 1964 SC 1006]

(3) Though writ of mandamus cannot be issued for refund of money illegally collected. It is yet another thing to say that such power can be exercised sparingly depending on facts and circumstances of each case. For instance, where the facts are not in dispute, where the collection of money was without the authority of the law and there was not case of undue enrichment, there is not good reason to deny a relief of refund to the citizens. [U.P Pollution Control Board V Kanoria Industrial Ltd; AIR 2001 SC 787]

(4) Where lis has a public law character, or involves a question arising out of public law functions on the part of the state or its authorities, access to justice by way of a public law remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution will not be denied. [Sanjana M Wig V Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd; (2005) 8 SCC 242]

Prepared by: S. Hemanth