Report No. 95
14. Do you feel that the High Courts grasp at jurisdictions in matters where the petitioner has not exhausted an equally efficacious remedy provided by the relevant statute?
The principle that a petitioner must exhaust all the equally efficacious statutory alternative remedies not being unduly onerous before coming to a court is well settled. (Than Singh v. Collector of Customs, AIR 1964 SC 1419; British I.S.W. Co. v. Jasjit Singh, AIR 1964 SC 1451; K.K. Srivastava v. D.K. Jain, AIR 1977 SC 1703). However, the ambit of the expression 'equally efficacious' has given rise to difficulties of interpretation. [Malwa Vanaspati & Chemical Co. Ltd., Indore v. Union of India, 1980 MP LJ 84; Meteor Satellite Ltd. v. I.T.O. Companies Circle-II, Ahmedabad (1980) 121 ITR 311 (Guj); Tapan Kumar Jana v.
The General Manager, Calcutta Telephones, 1980 Lab IC 508; Bavaji and Molibbai v. Inspector of Central Excise, 83 CWN 689; Rabindra Nath Mukherjee v. S.R. Das, 1979 Lab IC 1287; Ashok Industries v. State of Bihar, AIR 1979 Pat 217; Dharam Singh v. Bank of India, 1979 Lah IC 1079; K.S. Siddalingaiah v. State of Karnataka, AIR 1979 Kar 190]. Justice Frankfurter felt that it is imperative that the docket be kept down so that its volume does not preclude wide adjudication. In England the House of Lords has been hearing about 33 appeals per annum: while looking at the pendency in our higher court, a criticism is being levelled that they 'assume role of a knight errant' grasping at jurisdiction by entertaining any case.