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Writ of mandamus cannot be used for setting up an adjudicatory body- SC

The Apex Court made an observation in the case of John Paily v State of Kerala, that writ of mandamus cannot be issued in order to give directions for setting up an adjudicatory body or a tribunal.

The bench made this observation while dismissing the writ petition filed by the petitioner and others.

In the instant petition, the petitioners sought for a direction to set up an independent tribunal, which would comprise of retired High Court judges, for the purpose of looking into the claims of each Parish church and determine which denomination should have a control over such churches.

The petitioners also sought for a direction to the said tribunal for handing over the management of the concerned church to the denomination which would constitute the majority, or divide the disputed churches and their properties equally.

The petitioners also prayed before the court to declare that no judgment shall be allowed to operate which turns out to against the belief of petitioners and the members of religious denomination. If such would be protected under the Articles 25 and 26, then could operate.

The bench repudiated the petition and stated that the Entry 11A of the Concurrent List does not empower Supreme Court or High Court to constitute such courts. The bench also relied upon Articles 245 and 246 and stated that it is not empowered to issue such directions under mandamus.

The bench also clarified that it cannot issue any such direction to the Legislature of a State to enact any such law. The bench termed this petition as a medium to “abuse the process of law.”

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