SC refuses to entertain plea challenging Epidemic Act

The top court remarked that every High Court has the power to test the validity of Central Acts

Supreme court

On November 17, the Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee refused to entertain a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the Epidemic Act and questioned the petitioner as to why he has not moved the High Court on the issue. The plea was filed by petitioner Harshal Mirashi.

LiveLaw reported that Justice Chandrachud asked the petitioner, “What kind of a writ petition have you filed? Don’t you have something called the High Court of Judicature of Bombay?” When the petitioner replied that the impugned Act was a central act, Justice Chandrachud noted, “So High Courts have jurisdiction in respect of central Acts. You don’t have to come to the Supreme Court. You are anyway on the issue of quarantine in Maharashtra.”

LiveLaw further reported that the petitioner sought directions from the Supreme Court to approach the Bombay High Court in the same matter to which the Bench replied, “Why should we direct? You should approach the appropriate authority as per law. That would mean the Supreme Court felt there is something in the petition. But your contention regarding it being a central Act is misconceived. Every High Court in the country has the power to strike down a law for being in the teeth of Article 245, 246 or Part III of the Constitution.”

Since the High Court too has the power to consider the validity of a legislation, the Supreme Court deemed it better for the petitioner to move Bombay High Court. The petitioner withdrew his plea noting that an “efficacious and alternative remedy exists before the High Court under Article 226.”


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