High court won’t have the jurisdiction when the appropriate authority is provided under a statutory provision: High Court of Uttarakhand.

Where a statutory provision mentions a competent authority, then a person seeking relief should approach that competent authority and not any other court for relief. A single Judge bench comprising Hon’ble Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari, in the matter of Yudhir Singh Vs. Union of India and Others (Writ Petition (M/S) No. 1397 of 2021), dealt with an issue where the petitioner approached this court seeking direction in the nature of mandamus, commanding/ directing the respondents to award the compensation, damages, including all other admissible benefits, with interest to the petitioner, as well as the direction in the nature of mandamus, commanding/ directing the respondents to consider the claim of the petitioner of compensation, rehabilitation, resettlement as per the National Rehabilitation & Resettlement Policy, 2007.

In the present case, the petitioner was a tenant in a shop that was acquired for the widening of the National Highway under the provisions of the National Highways Act, 1956. The petitioner approached this court as no compensation was provided to him. The counsel for the petitioner supported this petition on the provision contained in Section 3 (c) of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The petitioner had also referred to Section 3 G (2) of the National Highways Act, 1956 which is a provision that states the determination of the Amount payable as compensation.

The counsel for the respondent submitted that the petitioner’s claim for compensation was without any legal basis, as the compensation was already paid to the owner of the shop. The counsel for the respondent also pointed out that if the petitioner had any claim, then he should be approaching Competent Authority Land Acquisition under Section 3G (5) of the National Highways Act, 1956.

The court observed that- “Since petitioner has a statutory remedy under Section 3G (5) of National Highways Act, 1956, therefore, the writ petition is disposed of with liberty to the petitioner to approach Competent Authority Land Acquisition.”

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