State-Private Party Contracts I

My Lord, How does public and private law elements in a contractual dispute between a State and a Private Party, affect the potential writ jurisdiction of a High Court?

If the contract between the Private Party and the State is under the realm of a Private Law and there is no element of Public Law, the normal course for the Aggrieved Party, is to invoke the remedies provided under ordinary civil law rather than approaching the High Court Under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and invoking its Extraordinary Jurisdiction.

Once on the facts of a particular case it is found that nature of the activity or controversy involves a Public Law element, then the matter can be examined by the High Court in Writ Petitions under Article 226 to see whether action of the State is fair, just and equitable.”

Hon’ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Joshi Technologies International Inc. v. Union of India, [Civil Appeal No. 6929 of 2012].

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