A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna of Supreme Court held that managing a construction project does not fall in the ambit of its jurisdiction as the same is beyond the scope of its jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna
Justice DY Chandrachud
The court said that the power to make decisions on construction projects problems cannot be taken over by the Court. Thus, the order stated, “The writ petition requires the Court to step into the construction project and to ensure that it is duly completed. This would be beyond the remit and competence of the Court under Article 32. Managing a construction project is not within the jurisdiction of the court.”
Statutory bodies under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 could look into the interests of the buyers, the court observed.
The order further read, “A decision of a public authority which is entrusted with a public duty is amenable to judicial review. But it is quite another hypothesis to postulate that the decision making authority should be taken over by the court. The latter is impermissible. It would be inappropriate for this Court to assume the jurisdiction to supervise the due completion of a construction project especially in facts such as those presented in the present case”.
Day-to-day supervision of the project with financing, permissions and execution “would be beyond the ken of judicial review and competence of the court”, the court emphasized.
The plea had been filed by 25 purchasers of a commercial property in Noida which never materialized from the drawing board.
The petitioners in their plea had urged the Court to consider and protect the larger interests of the buyers.
The petitioners had also sought a direction for refund and revival of amount invested with interest and prayed for a court-monitored probe in this matter. The apex court thus concluded that, “The court must confine itself to its core competencies which consist in the adjudication of disputes amenable to the application of legal standards,”
After hearing submissions and making its own observations, the Court disposed of the writ petition .