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M.M.L. Sahni and anr. Vs. Union of India (Uoi) and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 910 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1972All156
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226
AppellantM.M.L. Sahni and anr.
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi) and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.C. Mathur, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateA.B. Nigam, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....properly decided in the summary proceeding of a writ where the normal practice is to decide it on the basis of affidavits alone. it is also well known that in a case where damages are adequate remedy a civil court would not enforce a contract alleged to have been breached. the petitioner has clearly an alternative remedy to file a suit, a writ of mandamus will not issue in view of that alternative remedy......of a contract.3. the pith and substance in the present writ petition is an action for breach of an alleged contract and nothing else. besides, in a matter like this proper adjudication between the parties cannot be made without there being detailed evidence on the questions involved. a case like this cannot be properly decided in the summary proceeding of a writ where the normal practice is to decide it on the basis of affidavits alone. it is also well known that in a case where damages are adequate remedy a civil court would not enforce a contract alleged to have been breached. in the present case the petitioner can on a proper case being made out be fully compensated in terms of damages. the petitioner has clearly an alternative remedy to file a suit, a writ of mandamus will not issue.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Jagdish Sahai, J.

1. This petition by M. M. L. Sahni made under the provisions of Article 226 of the Constitution of India contains the prayer that a writ of cer-tiorari be issued and the notice dated 3rd October, 1967 issued by the District Controller of Stores, the order of the District Controller of Stores dated 26th October, 1967 and the letter of the Assistant Engineer, Head Quarters, Northern Railway, Lucknow dated 9th November, 1967 (Annexures 9, 10 and 13 respectively) be quashad. There is also a prayer for the issue of a writ, direction or order in the nature of prohibition prohibiting the respondents, the Union of India, the Controller of Stores, the District Controller of Stores and the Assistant Engineer, Northern Railway from ousting the petitioner from the accommodation belonging to -the Railway, which he is occupying, or from demolishing the same. There is also a prayer to tssue a writ, direction or order In the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents to place orders for stitching of uniforms which he used to do earlier. In addition there is an usual prayer for any other writ, direction or order as this court in the circumstances of the case may deem fit and proper to issue.

2. It is not necessary to mention the various facts averred in the petition or what is contained in the counter affidavit or the rejoinder affidavit because the petition is clearly misconceived and is liable to be dismissed on the ground that it is not maintainable. The petitioner wants to enforce an agreement entered into by the respondents with him and this cannot be done in the exercise of writ jurisdiction by this court. It may be stated that no breach of law is pleaded nor there is a complaint that any of the fundamental rights have been infringed. It is well settled that no writ lies to enforce a contract. It is true that certain circumstances even though the source of a right may be a contract or an agreement, a writ may lie against the order of an authority having statutory powers. As for example, if an authority modifies an action taken by his subordinate authority and thus deprives the petitioner of the right that accrued to him by virtue of the order of the subordinate authority, the writ may be maintainable. In the case of The D.F.O. South Kheri v. Ram Sanehi Singh, 1970 UJ (SC) 290, their Lordships of the Supreme Court observed as follows :

'Counsel for the appellants contends that since the dispute arose out of the terms of the contract and the Divisional Forest Officer under the terms of the contract had authority to modify any action taken by a subordinate forest authority the remedy of the-respondent was to institute an action In the Civil Court and that the writ petition was not maintainable. But in the present case the order is passed by a public authority modifying the order or proceeding of a subordinate forest authority. By that order he has deprived the respondent of a valuable right. We are unable to hold that merely because the source of the right which the respondent claims was initially in a contract, for obtaining relief against any arbitrary and unlawful action on the part of a public authority he must resort to a suit and not to a petition by way of a writ. In view of the judgment of this court in K. N. Guruswamy's case, (1955) 1 SCR 305 = (AIR 1954 SC 592) there can be no doubt that the petition was maintainable, even if the right to relief arose out of an alleged breach of contract, where the action challenged was of a public authority invested with statutory power.'

It may also be mentioned that in K. N. Guruswamy v. The State of Mysore, 1955-1 SCR 305 = (AIR 1954 SC 592) (Supra) the cause of action that gave rise to the filing of the writ petition was the alleged irregular exercise of authority by the Excise Commissioner. That was not an action for specific performance of a contract.

3. The pith and substance in the present writ petition is an action for breach of an alleged contract and nothing else. Besides, in a matter like this proper adjudication between the parties cannot be made without there being detailed evidence on the questions involved. A case like this cannot be properly decided in the summary proceeding of a writ where the normal practice is to decide it on the basis of affidavits alone. It is also well known that in a case where damages are adequate remedy a Civil Court would not enforce a contract alleged to have been breached. In the present case the petitioner can on a proper case being made out be fully compensated in terms of damages. The petitioner has clearly an alternative remedy to file a suit, A writ of mandamus will not issue in view of that alternative remedy.

4. The respondents are not a judicial body or a quasi judicial body. When they terminated the agreement, they acted administratively and notjudicially or quasi-judically. A writ of prohibition would not go in such circumstances.

5. In my opinion, the petition is misconceived and for that reason it is dismissed with costs. The interim stay order dated 4-12-1967 is vacated.


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