G.K. Misra, C.J.
1. The petitioner is a forest contractor. On 8-9-1972 there was auction' sale of Divisional Lots Nos. 63, 77 and 94. The petitioner was the highest bidder. The bid sheet was signed by him and he executed an agreement to be scrutinised and accepted. He madesecurity deposits and filed sales tax clearance certificate. All that could be done on behalf of the contractor was done by him. The bid was ratified by the Conservator of Forest, Angul Circle on 30-9-1972. The ratification order was however, not communicated to the petitioner. Before communication the forest department authorities had known about the negligence in working of the petitioner in some other coupe. The ratification order was therefore kept under suspension and was ultimately cancelled on 20-12-1972. The coupes were put to auction again. The writ application has been filed by the petitioner under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India for issuing a writ of mandamus to direct opposite parties 3 and 4 to issue the ratification order and the work order.
A counter has been filed on behalf of the opposite parties wherein facts averred in the writ application have not been disputed. Their case, however, is that on the general condition of sale as incorporated in the notice for leasing of forest coupes it was specifically mentioned that no right would accrue to any contractor until the ratification order is communicated to the bidder and the formal agreement is executed on behalf of the Government. The writ application is therefore stated to be not maintainable. This case was referred to a larger Bench to examine the correctness of Santosh Kumar v. State of Orissa, (AIR 1973 Orissa 217).
2. In our view this case should not have been referred to a larger Bench. Nothing was urged before us to show that ILR (19731 Cut 243 = (AIR 1973 Orissa 217) was wrongly' decided. That apart, the petitioner has no enforceable right and consequently the writ application was liable to be dismissed. Item No. 1 of General Condition of Sale runs thus:--
'The right to take contract for exploiting Forest produce in the lots advertised for sale in part I of the sale notice will be granted to the bidder whose bid is conditionally accepted by the Divisional Forest Officer subject to the approval of the competent authority and the latter authority so approves it. No sale shall be binding on the Government until such approval has been obtained and communicated to the bidder and the formal agreement is executed on behalf of the Government. ............'
It would be apparent from this condition of sale that a contractor gets no right until the ratification order is communicated to him and a formal agreement is executed on behalf of the Government. It is admitted that the ratification order has not been communicated and no formal agreement has been executed on behalf of the Government. It follows thatthe petitioner has acquired no right which can -be enforced through a writ application.
The position of law is directly concluded by a Bench decision of this court reported in Nilgiri Contractors' Society v. State of Orissa, (AIR 1975 Orissa 33), The legal position was carefully examined therein. It is unnecessary to repeat the same. We endorse the correctness of the conclusion arrived at in the decision.
3. On the aforesaid analysis we find no merit in this writ application which is accordingly dismissed. But in the circumstances there would be no order as to costs.
P.K. Mohanti, J.
N.K. Das, J.