An indirect relief cannot be chosen when a direct relief is available: High Court of Telangana

Parties cannot resort to methods which are elaborate and involve higher authorities when readily available reliefs are directly available. There cannot be a shortcut method in the justice delivery system and everyone must go through the appropriate channels and must use the reliefs available. This was decreed by Hon’ble Justice Sri Justice T. Amarnath Goud in the case of Manchala Paramesh Vs. State of Telangana Rep. By its Principal Secretary, Panchayat Raj Department and Ors. [W.P.No.16382 of 2021] on the 22nd of July, 2021 before the Hon’ble High Court of Telangana at Hyderabad.

The brief facts of the case are, the petitioner purchased an extent of 222 sq. yards from Chandra Sekhar Reddy and Pannala Buchi Reddy vide document No.4168/2020 dated 14.5.2020. In the month of April 2021, when he inspected his plot, he came to know that the respondent Nos.4 to 7 are trying to make constructions near his plot and trying to occupy it. Thereupon, the petitioner approached the third respondent and submitted a written complaint dated 23.4.2021 and requested to stop the illegal and unauthorized construction being made by the unofficial respondents. He also made representations before the second respondent in that regard, but no action has been taken. In spite of repeated requests, the third respondent neither conducted any spot inspection nor gave any response. The construction activity in the said plots is going on rapidly and if the same is not stopped, the petitioner would be put to irreparable loss and injury and it would even difficult for the third respondent to demolish the entire structure. Hence the present Writ Petition under article 226 is filed.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that, there was inaction on the part of the respondent No.3 in taking action against respondent Nos.4 to 7 who are trying to encroach the plots of the petitioner bearing Nos.51/A and 51/B in Sy.No.149/2/1/2/A admeasuring 222 sq. yards and this was illegal and arbitrary. The counsel for the respondent submitted that, the gram panchayat has more responsible works to attend rather than settling civil disputes between the petitioner and the unofficial respondents and in many matters offices of the gram panchayats are being burdened with such complaints to resolve their private issues, without approaching civil Court. The learned judge heard the submissions of both the parties and opined that the present case was a matter of private litigation. The court also observed that the petitioner has not placed on record and has not pointed out under what provision of the statute he filed a complaint before the respondent authorities and their obligation to consider the representations. Since there is no statutory obligation on the part of the respondent authorities to deal with the representation of the petitioner, the legal right of the petitioner for the inaction of the respondents is not infringed.

The court also observed that the present case invokes the jurisdiction of the Civil court and the petitioner has not resorted to it. Avoiding a direct relief from civil court, the petitioner cannot choose relief in an indirect way, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The court dismissed the petition and held that, “The petitioner cannot agitate the cause of action, for which the petitioner has an efficacious remedy before the competent civil court, before a writ court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India or even before the gram panchayat, because the rights of the petitioner or the unofficial respondents upon the subject property can be decided by the civil court only. Therefore, the efficacious remedy available to the petitioner is to approach the competent civil court if he feels that his property rights are infringed but he cannot involve the gram panchayat / official respondents as an arm twisting to get a relief against the unofficial respondents by way of filing a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.”

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