A Karnataka High Court Bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit has observed that a writ of prohibition cannot be issued in anticipation on par with the criminal courts granting anticipatory bail in the absence of infringement of right or at least a well-founded apprehension of infringement.

In that context, it was said that6 "In the absolute absence of any action, one cannot say that some action is contemplated at the hands of the official Respondents discharging public duties and that action may injure the citizens and therefore, a Writ of Prohibition should issue in anticipation, almost on par with the criminal courts granting anticipatory bail."

Counsel Anirudha R Nayak appeared for the petitoners, while Counsel Krishika, among others, appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the first petitioner, a private limited company, and the second petitioner, a registered partnership firm engaged in sugar-related activities, sought a writ of prohibition against various respondent authorities. They aimed to halt these authorities from issuing any notices or show cause orders related to sugarcane juice, syrup production by the second petitioner, and ethanol production by the first petitioner until the Supreme Court disposed of the applicable SLP.

The petitioners argued that they had been unjustifiably troubled by a series of notices and orders from the respondents. It was emphasized that several Court orders had found fault with the actions of the respondents.

The High Court refused to interfere in the matter and made the observation that no suit can be founded on an inchoate cause of action. In furtherance of the same, it was said that, "no Writ of Prohibition can be asked for in the absence of title facts and the minimum evidentiary material to prima facie vouch the same. An argument to the contrary is preposterous. Constitutional jurisdiction can not be invoked as a matter of course."

It was further clarified that if some action is initiated by the answering respondents, then it was open to the petitioners to approach the Writ Court or other appropriate authorities, but in absence of that, the case of the petitioners was premature and pre-emptive.

The Court thus while dismissing the Writ Petition, held, "In the above circumstances, the Writ Petition being devoid of merits is liable to be and accordingly dismissed. However, liberty is reserved to the Petitioners to avail appropriate remedy if and when some wrong action is taken or initiated by the official Respondents and in that connection, all contentions are kept open."

Cause Title: M/s Askins Biofuels Private Limited & Anr. v. The Union of India & Ors.

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