Only in exceptional circumstances, when no other remedy is available, can a Writ Petition be filed: Supreme Court

When an alternative remedy is available, the Supreme Court stated that a High Court could hear a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution only in the following exceptional circumstances:

  • a violation of fundamental rights;
  • a violation of natural justice principles;
  • an excess of jurisdiction; or
  • a challenge to the statute or delegated legislation’s vires.

The revenue argued before the Supreme Court that the High Court erred in accepting the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, given the alternative statutory remedy provided under Section 107 of the CGST Act. The bench agreed with the argument, noting that the petitioner before the High Court had a legislative remedy under section 107, but instead of using it, it filed a petition under Article 226.

The Court, in the present case of Assistant Commissioner of State Tax vs. Commercial Steel Limited LL 2021 SC 438, held that,

“There was, in fact, no violation of the principles of natural justice since a notice was served on the person in charge of the conveyance. In this backdrop, it was not appropriate for the High Court to entertain a writ petition. The assessment of facts would have to be carried out by the appellate authority.”

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