Advocate Sushila
SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT DISPUTES INVOLVING QUESTIONS OF FACT ARE AMENABLE TO WRIT JURISDICTION OF HIGH COURT
Advocate Sushila Ram 25 Sep 2021

SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT DISPUTES INVOLVING QUESTIONS OF FACT ARE AMENABLE TO WRIT JURISDICTION OF HIGH COURT

A Three Judge Bench of the Hon’ble #SupremeCourt of India in the case of M/s Magadh Sugar & Energy Ltd. vs. The State of Bihar & Ors. (Civil Appeal No. 5728/2021), vide its #Judgment dated 25-09-2021 held that #Writ Jurisdiction of a #HighCourt can be invoked on the ground that the #dispute between the parties is #factual in nature.


M/s Magadh Sugar & Energy Ltd. (Appellant) is a sugar mill Company in Bihar. It is engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of white crystal sugar. The waste of sugarcane produced in the process of manufacturing sugar is used for the production of electricity for its own consumption and the surplus energy is supplied to Bihar State Electricity Board (‘BSEB’).

The Bihar Electricity Duty, Act 1948 (Act) empowers the State Government (Respondent) vide Section 3(1) to levy electricity duty based on the units of energy consumed or sold, excluding the losses of energy in transmission and transformation, at the rates specified by the first Respondent, i.e. the State of Bihar.

In pursuance of its power under Section 3(1) of the Act, the Respondent issued a Notification dated 21.10.2002 which stipulated that the rate of duty applicable on the consumption or sale of electricity would be fixed at 6% of the value of energy consumed or sold for any purpose other than irrigation. The said 2002 Notification was amended by a subsequent Notification dated 04.03.2005, which provided that the rate of duty to be levied on consumption of electrical energy generated by captive power plants would be 6% of the value of energy, which shall be equivalent to the energy tariff as fixed by BSEB.

The Appellant challenged the Notifications dated 21.10.2002 and 04.03.2005 before the Patna High Court by filing a Writ Petition. The High Court by its Judgment dated 16.09.2009 struck down the Notifications and Section 3 (1) of the Act on the ground that there were no guidelines in the Act or the Notifications for construing the expression ‘value of energy’.

Aggrieved by the High Court Judgment, the Respondent-State filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court. While the matter was pending before the Apex Court, the Respondent amended the Act through the Bihar Finance Act 2012 with retrospective effect from 17.10.2002 for defining the term ‘value of energy’. The Appellant challenged the said Amendment by invoking the Writ Jurisdiction of the High Court.


To read more, please visit the link below:


https://theindianlawyer.in/supreme-court-holds-that-disputes-involving-questions-of-fact-are-amenable-to-writ-jurisdiction-of-high-court/


#supremecourt #disputes #writ #highcourt

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