Jurisdictional fact

What is the meaning of the term ‘Jurisdictional Fact’


A jurisdictional fact is one on existence or non-existence of which depends assumption or refusal to assume jurisdiction by a Court, Tribunal or an authority.

In Black’s Legal Dictionary it is explained as a fact which must exist before a Court can properly assume jurisdiction of a particular case. Mistake of fact in relation’to jurisdiction is an error of jurisdictional fact. No statutory authority or tribunal can assume jurisdiction in respect of subject-matter which the statute does not confer on it and if by deciding erroneously the fact on which jurisdiction depends the Court or tribunal exercises the jurisdiction then the order is vitiated. Error of jurisdictional fact renders the order ultra vires and bad [Wade Administrative Law].

In Raza Textiles v. Income-tax Officer, Rampur (1973) 1 SCC 633 it was held that a Court or Tribunal cannot confer jurisdiction on itself by deciding a jurisdictional fact wrongly.

Refer: Smt. Shrisht Dhawan Versus M/s. Shaw Brothers-AIR 1992 SC 1555 : (1991) 3 Suppl. SCR 446 : (1992) 1 SCC 534 : JT 1991 (5) SC 378 : (1991) 2 SCALE 1386

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