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Petition dismissed due to lack of territorial jurisdiction: The High Court of Delhi

Being prima facie unimpressed with the maintainability of the case, the case was dismissed on the grounds of being outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court. The aforementioned was the adjudication made by the Delhi High Court in the case of Food Corporation of India Shramik Union v. Union of India [W.P. (C) 5930/2021 & CMs No. 18703-04/2021] which was decided by a single judge bench comprising Justice Navin Chawla on 14th June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. The petitioner challenged the transfer of departmental labourers posted at FSD Narayanpur Anant (NRPA), Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and labourers posted at ARDC Jamui-Bihar, as also the E-tender dated 19.05.2021 issued by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Regional Office, Patna. The petitioners prayed before this court to issue a writ of mandamus, certiorari and/or any other appropriate writ or directions thereby prohibiting the respondents from proceeding with such a transfer.

On the query made to the learned counsel for the petitioner that as the cause of action pleaded by the petitioner has arisen in Patna, this Court would lack territorial jurisdiction for entertaining the present petition, the learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the impugned action had been taken by the respondents pursuant to the Guidelines dated 12.07.2016 issued by the FCI and the challenge thereto is pending adjudication before this Court. He further submitted that a similar petition challenging the transfer of labourers posted at Assam has been entertained by this Court in W.P. (C) 5449/2021, titled FCI Handling Workers Union v. Union of India & Anr.

After a perusal of the facts and arguments presented, the Court dismissed the petition and stated that the judgment relied upon by the counsel for petitioner2021 is also ill- founded inasmuch as the said petition was merely directed to be listed along with an already pending petition before this Court, without answering the objection of maintainability of the petition before this Court. In fact, from a reading of the order, it appeared that the coordinate Bench in the said petition was also prima facie not convinced with the maintainability of the petition before this Court. Hence the Court was of the opinion that “We are not impressed with the arguments made by learned counsel for the petitioner. Whether the impugned action is in terms of and as a result of the Guidelines dated 12.07.2016 issued by the FCI can only be answered by the Regional Office at Patna. As far as the prayers made in the present petition, the cause of action has arisen at Patna, i.e. outside the jurisdiction of this court.”

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