CPR v. Brahma Chellaney

The Delhi High Court’s Division Bench [Coram: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Mool Chand Garg] has delivered its judgment in the case (LPA No.220 of 2002 decided on 12.3.10). The Court has held that CPR cannot be excluded from the jurisdiction under Article 226. I think the primary reason why the CPR wanted the Bench to settle the issue was because it was central to its autonomous functioning. Looked at from that perspective, is the judgment a setback to the autonomy of institutions like the CPR? I invite readers’ thoughts on this issue.

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  • I think it's a terrible decision. Primarily because a. the decision fails to elucidate the tests for determining which authorities are covered under Art. 226 with clarity and b. fails to apply the tests appropriately. Central to this is the lack of clarity regarding whether it is a public function being performed or the public identity of the authority in question which brings an authority within the ambit of Art. 226. While the court seems inclined towards the former, in its application of the fact situations, I find that several of the points (government funding, government role in getting land) all point to identity questions. Besides the fact that an adequate private law remedy exists and that deciding on this question was not necessary for deciding the dispute did not seem to weigh heavily with the court, which is unfortunate. Especially give the delays in our system, whether it is appropriate for the court to deal with strictly academic questions, which have no bearing on the result of the case, is something which needs to be discussed further.

  • Hi, could you please explain what the case between cfpr and brahma chellaney was about? I went through the link you provided (indiakanoon) but didn't get it – sorry, not intelligent enough to understand. I can't find anything on google. I'm really impressed with Mr Chellaney's articles.