In a recent development, the Supreme Court of India expressed its astonishment regarding an order passed by the Bombay High Court in Assets Care and Reconstruction Enterprises Limited V. The State Of Maharashtra & Ors. . The case in question involved the admission of a writ petition by the Bombay High Court, followed by the refusal to consider a prayer for interim relief, citing the availability of an alternate legal remedy.
The Supreme Court, In response to this situation, remitted the matter back to the Bombay High Court, directing it to reevaluatewhether interim relief should be granted. The bench, comprising Justice B R Gavai and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, was critical of the High Court’s approach. They argued that the High Court had failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it by neglecting to address the question of granting or denying interim relief after admitting the case.
The crux of the matter Is that if the High Court deems a case worthy of admission, then it should equally consider whether interim relief should be provided or not, irrespective of the availability of alternative legal remedies. The Supreme Court emphasized that non-granting of interim relief solely on the basis of the existence of an alternate remedy contradicts the earlier part of the High Court’s order in which it acknowledged the merit of the case by admitting it.
The significance of this legal scenario extends to Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. Article 32 plays a crucial role in the Indian legal system as it pertains to the fundamental right to constitutional remedies. It grants every citizen the right to move the Supreme Court to seek enforcement of their fundamental rights when they believe they have been violated.
This right to move the Supreme Court under Article 32 is seen as an essential element of the Indian Constitution. The framers of the Constitution included this provision to ensure that individuals have a direct channel to seek justice and protection for their fundamental rights, especially in cases where their rights may be at risk.
The very nature of Article 32 reflects its importance. It is often referred to as the “soul of the Constitution” because it empowers individuals to approach the highest court of the land when they believe their fundamental rights have been infringed upon. This is particularly relevant in cases where there is no alternative legal remedy available or when there is a need for immediate relief.
Article 32 grants the Supreme Court the authority to issue orders, directions, and writs for the enforcement of fundamental rights. The writs that can be issued under Article 32 include habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, and quo warranto. These writs are powerful tools that the Supreme Court can employ to ensure that justice is served and that fundamental rights are protected.
In the case at hand, the Bombay High Court’s decision not to grant interim relief based on the availability of an alternate remedy raised concerns about the proper application of Article 32. The Supreme Court’s response highlights the principle that once a matter has been admitted, the question of interim relief should be considered on its merits. This principle aligns with the spirit of Article 32, which is aimed at safeguarding the fundamental rights of citizens.
In summary, the Supreme Court’s response to the Bombay High Court’s order underscores the importance of Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. It reaffirms the fundamental right to constitutional remedies and the pivotal role of the Supreme Court in upholding and protecting these rights. While alternate legal remedies are available in many cases, the direct access to the Supreme Court provided by Article 32 ensures that individuals can seek justice and relief swiftly, especially when their fundamental rights are at stake. The spirit of Article 32 emphasizes that the admission of a matter should be followed by a judicious consideration of interim relief, ensuring that justice is not delayed or denied.