9 Oct : The Supreme Court has ruled that an individual has a right to move apex court or high court for violation of the "principles of natural justice" even if there are alternative remedies available under the statute.
For instance, if the statute says that a person should approach a designated tribunal for relief, he or she can still approach the High Court or the Supreme Court for a remedy if the aggrieved person feels that principles of natural justice have been violated by the authorities concerned.
A two-judge bench of Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Aftab Alam passed the ruling while upholding the appeal filed by Mariamma Roy challenging a judgement of the Kerala High Court which dismissed her appeal on the ground that she had an alternative remedy under the "Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act 1993."
Mariamma had a dispute with a public sector Indian bank over a debt related issue.
However, the High Court refused to entertain her plea on the ground that she could approach the appropriate forum under the "Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act."
Aggrieved, she filed the SLP in the apex court complaining that the High Court did not even bother to issue her a formal notice before dismissing her petition.
Upholding her plea, the apex court observed
"It is well settled that even if an alternative remedy was available to an aggrieved party against a particular order, it was open to such a party to move a writ application and the court has the power to entertain the same if it finds that while passing the order there has been a violation of the principle of natural justice."
Accordingly, the apex court remitted the matter to the High Court to decide the case on merits.DDINEWS