Can A Writ Petition Be Filed Against A Judicial Order Passed By A Criminal Court?

The Supreme Court in Radhey Shyam vs Chabbi Nath held that judicial orders of civil court are not amenable to writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. So if a judicial order is not appealable or revisable, one can only invoke the ‘supervisory jurisdiction’ of the High Court by filing a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution, to challenge the said order.

Does this judgment impact the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 vis-a-vis judicial orders passed by criminal court? It is true that Radhey Shyam’s case (supra) dealt with the question of maintainability of writ petition vis-a-vis an order passed by a civil court. But the closer reading of the said judgment would, in my opinion, suggest that no writ under Article 226 can be issued against any judicial court including criminal courts.

The Kerala High Court has taken this view in Nithin K R vs. State of Kerala 2021 (1) KLT 603 : “This Court has held in various decisions that the abovesaid dictum laid down by the Apex Court would also apply with equal vigour in the case of decisions of a criminal court as well and that therefore, it is by now well settled that prerogative writs under Article 226 of the Constitution of India may not lie as against the judicial decisions and orders rendered by court “stricto senso” like a civil court or a criminal court which is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, Code of Criminal Procedure etc.”

The court observed that the appropriate remedy is available under Sec. 482 of the Cr.P.C. When the statute itself provides explicit remedy which is efficacious, then the resort to the invocation of discretionary constitutional jurisdiction under Article 226 or Article 227 of the Constitution of India may not be right, the court had observed.

This view is also seen approved by the Full Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court. In Shailendra Kumar vs Divisional Forest Officer, it was observed: The orders passed by the Judicial Courts, subordinate to a High Court even in criminal matters when challenged in proceedings before the High Courts are only under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. Thus no intra court appeal would be maintainable against an order passed by the Learned Single Judge in proceedings arising out of an order passed by Judicial Courts, may be civil or criminal proceedings.

If you know about any contrary view, the same may be shared in comments.

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