The jurisdiction of High Court in issuing a writ of Certiorari

The limits of jurisdiction of High Court in issuing a writ of Certiorai:

The Supreme Court in Syed Yakoob v. Radhakrishnan, AIR 1964 SC 477, wherein it is held as follows:-

The question about the limits of jurisdiction of High Court in issuing a writ of certiorari  under Art. 226 has been frequently considered by this Court and the true legal position in that behalf is no longer in doubt.

A writ of certiorari  can be issued for correcting errors of jurisdiction committed by inferior courts or tribunals; these are cases where orders are passed by inferior courts or tribunals without jurisdiction, or is in excess of it, or as a result of failure to exercise jurisdiction conferred on it, the Court or Tribunal acts illegally or improperly, as for instance, it decides a question without giving an opportunity to be heard to the party affected by the order; or where the procedure adopted in dealing with the dispute is opposed to principles of natural justice.

There is, however, no doubt that the jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari is a supervisory jurisdiction and the Court exercising it is not entitled to act as an appellate Court. This limitation necessarily means that findings of fact reached by the inferior Court or Tribunal as a result of the appreciation of evidence cannot be reopened or questioned in writ proceedings.

An error of law which is apparent on the fact of the record can be corrected by a writ, but not an error of fact, however grave it may appear to be.

In regard to a finding of fact recorded by the Tribunal, a writ of certiorari can be issued if it is shown that in recording the said finding, the Tribunal had erroneously refused to admit admissible evidence which has influenced the impugned finding. Similarly, if a finding of fact is based on no evidence, that would be regarded as an error of law which can be corrected by a writ of certiorari.

In dealing with this category of cases, however, we must always bear in mind that a finding of fact recorded by the Tribunal cannot be challenged in proceedings for a writ of certiorari on the ground that the relevant and material evidence adduced before the tribunal was insufficient or inadequate to sustain the impugned findings. The adequacy or sufficiency of evidence led on a point and the interference of fact to be drawn from the said finding are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tribunal, and the said points cannot be agitated before a writ Court.



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