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A legal duty emanates from either in discharge of a public duty or by operation of law: High Court of Patna

A writ of mandamus is issued in favour of a person who establishes a legal right in himself. A writ of mandamus is issued against a person who has a legal duty to perform but has failed or neglected to do so. Such a legal duty emanates from either in discharge of a public duty or by operation of law. The writ of mandamus is of a most extensive remedial nature and the same was upheld by High Court of Patna through the learned bench led by JUSTICE S. KUMAR in the case of Sima Yadav vs. The State of Bihar [Case No.3506 of 2022] on 11.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that the Respondents were recovering irrigation tax from the farmers without supply of water in canal. Therefore, petitioner seeks issuance of direction including writ in the nature of MANDAMUS upon the respondent authorities to rennovate the village canal which was made for the purposes of irrigation and after rennovation of the canal to start the water supply in which water was not supplied from last twenty years. The respondent authorities should be stopped for the recovery of irrigation tax from the farmers which they were recovering without supply of water.

The petitioner’s counsel stated that petitioner shall be content if a direction is issued to the authority concerned i.e. respondent Executive Engineer, Saran Canal Commissionary, Gopalganj, for redressal of the grievances.

The respondent’s counsel stated that if such a representation is filed by the petitioner, the authority concerned shall consider and dispose it of expeditiously and preferably within a period of four months from the date of its filing.

The Court held that the petitioner shall approach the authority concerned within a period of four weeks from today by filing a representation for redressal of the grievances and the authority concerned shall consider and dispose it of expeditiously by a reasoned and speaking order preferably within a period of four months.

The Court observed that “A writ of mandamus is issued in favour of a person who establishes a legal right in himself. A writ of mandamus is issued against a person who has a legal duty to perform but has failed or neglected to do so. Such a legal duty emanates from either in discharge of a public duty or by operation of law. The writ of mandamus is of a most extensive remedial nature. The object of mandamus is to prevent disorder from a failure of justice and is required to be granted in all cases where law has established no specific remedy and whether justice despite demanded has not been granted.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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