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The Locus of Foreign entity to Invoke Writ Jurisdiction in India

Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India grant the power of writ jurisdiction to the High Courts in the country. This power allows the courts to issue writs for the enforcement of fundamental rights and for other purposes.

While these articles empower Indian legal entities and citizens to seek redress for violations of their fundamental rights, the question arises as to whether a foreign entity can invoke Article 226 and 227. In this article, we will explore this issue in view of a recent judgment pronounced by the Honorable High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru.

The Petitioner:
The Petitoner was a company duly incorporated under the laws of United States of America.

The Petition:
The Petition was filed by the Petitioner before the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru , invoking Article 226 and 227 of Constitution of India, seeking to quash the blocking order issued by Respondents.

The Blocking Order:
The Respondents ordered for blocking of user accounts from which offending tweets came.

The Greivance Of Petitioner:
The Petitioner contended that blcking order has to be URLs specific. Whole account of a user can not be blocked in the apprehension of offending contents, which may come from that account.

The Locus Of Foreign Entity:
While rebutting the contention of Petitioner, the Respondents challenged the locus of Petitioner , bening a foreign entity , to invoke Article 226 and 227 of Constitution of India.

Answer By The Court:
Invokation of Writ Jurisdiction is limited only in cases of violation of Fundamental rights but also includes cases where statutory rights are violated.

A corporation being a incorporated body, may not be entitled for protection under Article 19 of Contition of India, however the same is entitled to protection under Article 14 of Constitution of India.

Article 226 of Constitution of India uses the word, "by any person". The term "person"has not been defined in Construction of India.

As per the provision of General Clauses Act 1867, the term "person" includes any corporation also.
Article 226 of Constitution of India uses the term" for any purpose. Hence Article 226 of Constitution of India can be invoked for infringement of Statutory Rights also, besides, violation of Fundamental rights.

Thus a foreign entity equally can invoke Article 226 and 227 of Constitution of India in cases of violation of its stqtutory rights. The Locus of Petitioner, being a foreign entity, was held for invoking writ jurisdiction.

However the High court also held that blocking order of violating user accounts was right as the blocking order can also be passed against such apprended offending tweets that may come from such accounts.

The Concluding Note:
The court emphasized that the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution are universal in nature and apply to everyone within Indian jurisdiction. It further noted that restricting the application of Article 226 and 227 solely to Indian legal entities and citizens would undermine the purpose and intent of these provisions.

The court ruled that a foreign entity, if it can establish a violation of its fundamental rights within the jurisdiction of a High Court, can indeed invoke Article 226 and 227 for appropriate remedies. The court reasoned that such a foreign entity, like any other person within the territory of India, is entitled to the protection of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The judgment of the Honorable High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru has far-reaching implications. It reaffirms the inclusive nature of fundamental rights under the Constitution and recognizes that the protection of these rights extends to foreign entities operating within India. The ruling aligns with the principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in the Constitution.

This judgment provides clarity and establishes a precedent for foreign entities seeking legal remedies for violations of their fundamental rights. It promotes investor confidence and reinforces India's commitment to the rule of law and protection of human rights.

Case Law Discussed:
Date of Judgment: 30.06.2023
Case No:Writ Petition 13710 of 2022
Neutral Citation No: NA
Name of Hon'ble Court: Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Krishna S Dixit, H.J.
Case Title: X Corporation Vs Union of India and Ors

Information contained herein is being shared in the public Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for legal advice as it is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the facts and law involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor
Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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