Epistolary Jurisdiction of Constitutional Courts

New York Times, in the Editorial, ‘The Frankfurter Legacy’, on September 2, 1962, while stating about the greatness of Felix Frankfurter, chose the following expression:- “History will find greatness in Felix Frankfurter as a justice, not because of the results he reached but because of his attitude toward the process of decision. His guiding lights were detachment, rigorous integrity in dealing with the facts of a case, refusal to resort to unworthy means, no matter how noble the end, and dedication to the Court as an institution. Because he was human, Justice Frankfurter did not always live up to his own ideal. But he taught us the lesson that there is importance in the process.”

The necessity has arisen again for reiteration of the fundamental principles to be adhered to by a Judge.

Be it noted, the Constitutional Courts can entertain Letter Petitions and deal with them as Writ Petitions. But it will depend upon the nature of the issue sought to be advanced. There cannot be uncontrolled or unguided exercise of Epistolary Jurisdiction.”

– Hon’ble Justice Dipak MisraGovernment of Meghalaya v. High Court of Meghalaya, [Civil Appeal No. 2987 of 2016].

Epistolary Jurisdiction