Authority In Delhi Granting UAPA Sanction Won't Give Jurisdiction To Delhi HC: Court While Dismissing Sachin Waze's Plea
The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea moved by Ex-Mumbai Cop Sachin Waze seeking the quashing of the order granting sanction to prosecute him under Section 45 (1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The Court dismissed the writ petition for lack of territorial jurisdiction to adjudicate the relief sought.
The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Anish Dayal observed that "…the mere fact that the authority which awards sanction for prosecution under UAPA is located in Delhi, will not give this Court the jurisdiction to grant relief to quash that order sans the fact that all possible ingredients events and proceedings in relation to the said matter are taking place in Mumbai."
The Court also observed that "Having considered the facts and circumstances of the matter and the obvious forum conveniens for the petitioner, being a resident of Mumbai, seeking relief relating to proceedings underway in Mumbai, the special courts and authorities investigating and adjudicating the matter located in Mumbai, this Court finds no reason to clothe itself with territorial jurisdiction to adjudicate the relief sought in this petition."
The Court held that the order passed by Union of India, MHA granting sanction for prosecution under UAPA would have to be considered along with and in conjunction with investigations and proceedings which it relates to and therefore the courts at Mumbai would have the natural and logical jurisdiction to decide issues challenged in the instant writ petition.
Senior Advocate Santosh Paul appeared for the Petitioner whereas Additional Solicitor General SV Raju represented the Union of India. SPP Sandeep K.Sadawarte and Advocates Shrikant and Khawar Saleem appeared for NIA.
Petitioner- Sachin Hindurao Waze had approached Delhi High Court praying for striking down Section 15 (1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAPA) for being ultra vires Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India or read it down to save it from being rendered unconstitutional; and to quash and set aside the impugned order granting sanction to prosecute him under UAPA.
Senior Advocate Santosh Paul, addressing specifically on the issue of territorial jurisdiction, asserted that the Court would have jurisdiction to hear the matter since the decision which it was seeking to quash and set aside was taken by Union of India, MHA in New Delhi based upon the report of the Authority also based in New Delhi.
The Court observed that only a mere shred or an iota of a cause of action potentially clothing a particular High Court with jurisdiction [per Article 226(2) of the Constitution of India] to adjudicate a writ petition, ought not to encourage a Court to accept such jurisdiction completely divorced and dehors an assessment of forum conveniens.
The Court also noted that "Considering that prayer (b) of this writ petition [quashing of the impugned order of the Respondent no. 1] is the dominant and effective relief for which the petitioner seeks immediate redress, the generic prayer (a) [regarding unconstitutionality of provisions of UAPA] can be considered as concomitant and conjunctive to prayer (b), as framed by the petitioner in the writ petition. Therefore, there is no reason why prayer (a) should be severed and considered in isolation to prayer (b)."
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the writ petition.
Cause Title- Sachin Hindurao Waze v. Union of India & Ors.