C.M. Lodha, J.
1. This is a joint petition by three petitioners under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issue of a writ of mandamus against the State of Madhya Pradesh and the Divisional Forest Officer, Gwalior, directing them not to enforce the order dated 20th Oct. 1977 issued by the Divisional Forest Officer.
2. The petitioners who are three different parties entered into separate contracts for sale of fuel In the city of Gwalior according to the terms and conditions of the agreements entered into by them with the Government of Madhya Pradesh. The petitioners' case is that under the terms of the aforesaid agreements they were to purchase fuel from the Government of M, P., and sell it to the consumers at the rate of Rs. 16/- per quintal of the unsplit fuel and Rs. 18/-per quintal of the split fuel. The agreements were for different periods but all of them are to expire by the end of April 1978. However, the Divisional Forest Officer, Gwalior issued an order to the petitioners on 20th Oct. 1977 intimating to them that the Government had decided to sell fuel at the rate of Rs. 8/- to 10/- per quintal in specified places and, therefore, fresh contracts would be given to retailers. He, therefore, directed the petitioners to sell away the stock of fuel with them at the contractual rate by 30th Oct. 1977 and, thereafter, if they wanted to have licence for sale of fuel, they should apply on the prescribed form on or before 30th Oct, 1977. The petitioners have challenged this order on the ground that the Divisional Forest Officer was not competent to issue the same.
3. We may observe. In the first in stance, that the petition suffers from thedefect of misjoinder ot parties and cause of action. There are three different contracts entered into by the three petitioners on different dates and for different periods. Each petitioner is not interested in the contract entered into by another. Thus, there are clearly three different causes of action joined together in the petition, In ordinary course, we would have permitted the petitioners to treat this petition on behalf of one of the petitioners and to file separate petitions on behalf of the other two petitioners. But in view of the conclusion to which we have arrived on the question of maintainability of the writ petition, we do not consider it necessary to adopt that course,
4. Mr. R. S. Bajpal, learned Government Advocate, has urged that what the petitioners want by this petition is enforcement of a contractual obligation against the Government which can properly be sought by filing a regular Civil Suit. He urged that there was no breach of any statutory duty in the present case and, consequently, a writ of mandamus cannot be issued. In support of his contention, Mr. Bajpai has relied upon the Bihar Eastern Gangetic Fishermen Co-operative Society Ltd. v. Sipahi Singh (AIR 1977 SC 2149), wherein the Supreme Court held that a writ of mandamus can be granted only in a case where there is a statutory duty imposed upon the officer concerned and there is a failure on the part of that officer to discharge the statutory obligation. It was further observed that in order that mandamus may issue to compel the authorities to do something, it must be shown that there is a statute which imposes a legal duty and the aggrieved party has legal right under the statute to enforce its performance.
5. In the instant case, it has not been shown by the petitioners that there is any statute or rule having the force of law which casts a duty on the respondents and which they have failed to perform. All that is sought to be enforced is an obligation flowing from a contract.
6. Mr. A. B. Mishra, learned counsel for the petitioners, placed reliance on Union of India v. Anglo Afghan Agencies (AIR 1968 SC 718) in support of his contention that the petitioners are entitled to get relief by way of Issue of a writ. However, on going through this case, we find that it is clearly distinguishable. In that case, unlike the present one, the petitioners were not seeking enforcement of any contractual right, They were merely seeking to enforce compliance with the obligation which was laid upon the Textile Commissioner by the terms of the Export Promotion Scheme,
7. Accordingly, we are clearly of the opinion that the petitioners are not entitled to apply for grant of a writ of mandamus or issue of any other writ, direction or order under Article 226 of the Constitution. In this view of the matter, we dismiss the petition, but make no order as to costs.
8. The security amount may be refunded to the petitioners.