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Jeewan Khan Vs. Panchayat Samiti and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 608 of 1980
Judge
Reported in1980WLN(UC)279
AppellantJeewan Khan
RespondentPanchayat Samiti and ors.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredSouth Kheri and Ors. v. Ram Sanehi Singh
Excerpt:
.....samiti & zila parishads act, 1959 - auction of lease hold rights for collecting bones--re-auction notice issued without hearing highest bidder at previous auction--held, reauction notice deserves to be quashed.;before issuing the reauction notice (ex. 6) to the prejudice of the petitioner, it was obligatory upon the collector-cum-district development officer, sri ganganagar to hear the petitioner. as no notice was given to the petitioner before ordering re-auction and no opportunity of being heard was given to him, the re-auction notice (ex. 6) so far as it relates to the re-auction of lease-hold rights or theka for collecting bones for the year 1980-81 in respect of the panchayat samiti, nohar is concerned, deserves to be quashed.;writ allowed - section 2(k), 2(1), 7 & 40 &..........under article 226 and 227 of the constitution of india, the petitioner has sought to quash the reauction notice (ex. 6) dated march 21, 1980 issued by the collector cum district development officer, sri ganganagar and the other reliefs.2. the facts leading to filing of this writ petition are as under: the panchayat samiti, nohar (respondent no. 1) issued a notice (ex. 1) for the auction of the lease hold rights or theka for collecting the bones for the year 1980-81. a cyclostyled notice was also issued by the collector cum district development officer, sri ganganagar (respondent no. 2) for auction of the leases for the collection of bones for the year 1980-81 for 10 panchayat samities mentioned in it within their respective jurisdiction including that of the panchayat samiti, nohar. it.....
Judgment:

S.K. Mal Lodha, J.

1. By this writ petition under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner has sought to quash the reauction notice (Ex. 6) dated March 21, 1980 issued by the Collector cum District Development Officer, Sri Ganganagar and the other reliefs.

2. The facts leading to filing of this writ petition are as under: The Panchayat Samiti, Nohar (respondent No. 1) issued a notice (Ex. 1) for the auction of the lease hold rights or theka for collecting the bones for the year 1980-81. A cyclostyled notice was also issued by the Collector cum District Development Officer, Sri Ganganagar (respondent No. 2) for auction of the leases for the collection of bones for the year 1980-81 for 10 Panchayat Samities mentioned in it within their respective jurisdiction including that of the Panchayat Samiti, Nohar. It was stated in the notice (Ex.1 that the auction would be held at Zila Parishad Hall, Sri Ganganagar on March 5, 6 and 7, 1980 from 11 AM to 3 PM. The relevant conditions of notice Ex. 2), which are material for the purpose of this writ petition, have been reproduced by the petitioner in English. They are as follows:

(i) that the bidder will deposit Rs. 500/- before auction;

(ii) that the auction will be knocked down in favour of the highest bidder;

(iii) that the highest bidder shall have to deposit half the auction amount at the spot when the bid is knocked down and the rest amount in the instalments one in June and other in September. The contract shall be cancelled if the amount is not deposited on the prescribed date;

(iv) that the auction shall be held separately for each of the Panchayat Samiti;

(v) that before lifting the bones, the contractor shall execute the agreement with the Panchayat Samiti as per the directions of the Development Department and shall get it registered within 3 days.

The petitioner deposited Rs. 500/- as security deposit vide receipt (Ex. 3). He gave bid of Rs. 18,000/- for the area within the jurisdiction of the Panchayat Samiti, Nohar. His bid was the highest and as such, it was accepted by respondent No. 1. The petitioner deposited Rs. 9,000/- being half the bid amount on that very day on the spot. The photostat copy of the receipt showing payment of Rs. 9,000/ - has been produced by the petitioner marked as Ex. 4. The petitioner and respondent No.1 through the Vikas Adhikari entered into an agreement (Ex. 5) on a stamp paper of Rs. 3/- on March 10,1980, which was signed by the petitioner and the Vikas Adhikari on that very day and it was registered on March 11,1980. The petitioner has stated that by this agreement, respondent No. 1 granted lease to him for removal of bones of dead animals for the year 1980-81 in respect of the area mentioned in it. However notice (Ex. 6) dated March 21, 1980 was issued by the Collector cum District Development Officer, Sri Ganganagar for re-auction of the lease for the collection of bones for the year 1980-81 for 10 Panchayat Samities including the Panchayat Samiti Nohar on the ground that the bids at previous auction were rather low. The petitioner has filed this writ petition for quashing the notice (Ex. 6) dated March 21,1980 of the Collector cum District Development Officer, Sri Ganganagar.

3. It may be mentioned here that in the writ petition in para relating to relief, the petitioner has stated for quashing the re-auction notice of respondent No. 2 Ex. 2. This has been done by inadvertence. However, the re-auction notice, which has been produced by the petitioner with the writ petition is Ex. 6.

4. On behalf of the respondents, reply to the writ petition was filed on April 15,1980 contesting the writ petition. Alongwith the reply, copies of the application of one Gulam Khan (Ex. Rule 1), notings of the Collector (Ex. Rule 2) and the order dated December 27, 1969 of the Development Department, Government of Rajasthan were filed.

5. On behalf of the petitioner, rejoinder to the reply was filed on May 6,1980. I have heard Mr. S.C. Bhandari, learned Counsel for the petitioner and Mr. M.D. Purohit, learned Additional Government Advocate for respondents.

6. It was stated in writing by Mr. M.D. Purohit, learned Additional Government Advocate on May 8,1980 on behalf respondents No. 1 and 2 'that the respondents shall have no objection if this Hon'ble High Court is pleased to quash the notice Annexure 6 and remand the case to the competent authority with the directions that the such competent authority shall hear the case after giving notice to the petitioner. The writ petition is, accordingly disposed of finally.

7. Learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner raised the following contentions:

(i) that respondent No. 2 (Collector cum District Development Officer, Sri Ganganagar) had no jurisdiction to issue re-auction notice (Ex. 6) on the ground that at the previous auction, the bids accepted were rather low.

(ii) that the petitioner gave the highest bid and the money paid by him was accepted and that the agreement was got registered. A completed lease agreement having come into existence between the petitioner and respondent No. 1, which was binding on both the parties, respondent No. 2 had no jurisdiction to re-auction the lease ignoring the agreement and in any case, issuance of the notice Ex. 6) for reauction of the lease-hold rights or theka for collecting the bones for the year 1980-81 without affording an opportunity of being heard to the petitioner, whose civil rights were vitally affected, was against the principles of natural justice and, therefore, void.

(iii) that on the basis of clause 11 contained in Ex. 2, it was urged that the Committee/Collector has been empowered to accept the contract without assigning any reasons and that after the acceptance of the bid and money in pursuance thereof and execution of the agreement, order of re-auction on the ground that the bid received was rather low is void.

Learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner refuted the plea taken by the respondents that the Collector refused to confirm the bid in pursuance of the power vested in him under Clause 11 of Ex. 2 and, therefore, he was right in ordering re-auction. According to the learned Counsel, the Collector, could not cancel the valid agreement, which had come into existence between the petitioner and respondent No. 1 by means of the agreement (Ex. 5) and that the agreement was executed and registered as required by clause (7) of the notice (Ex. 2). In support of contention No. 2, he invited my attention to Nathulal v. State of Rajasthan 1975 RLW 226 and the DFO South Kheri and Ors. v. Ram Sanehi Singh : AIR1973SC205 I do not consider it necessary to examine all the contentions raised by the learned Counsel for the petitioner in view of the facts that on behalf of respondents No. 1 and 2, it has been given in writing that the respondents have no objection if the reauction notice (Ex. 6) is quashed and the case is remanded to the competent authority with the direction that such authority shall hear the case after giving notice to the petitioner.

8. In DFO South Kheri's case : AIR1973SC205 , it was held by their Lordships of the Supreme Court that where the auction of a public authority invested with statutory powers is challenged, the writ petition is maintainable even if the right to relief arises out of an alleged breach of contract.

9. In Nathulal's case 1975 RLW 226, a learned Single Judge of this Court observed as under:

Thus, it is well established that not only in judicial proceedings but also in cases where the executive authority is called upon to adjudicate matters involving civil consequences and affecting the rights of subject, the fundamental principles of natural justice ought to be observed. If the State or its officers intend to pass any order to the prejudice of a party, which involves civil consequences or attaches a disability affecting right to property then fair play requires that before such an order is passed, the party should be told the case he is required to meet and he should be afforded a reasonable opportunity to represent his case before the authority concerned.

Before issuing the re-auction notice (Ex. 6) to the prejudice of the petitioner, it was obligatory upon the Collector-cum-District Development Officer, Sri Ganganagar to hear the petitioner. As no notice was given to the petitioner before ordering re-auction and no opportunity of being heard was given to him, the re-auction of lease-hold rights or theka for collecting bones for the year 1980-81 in respect of the Panchayat Samiti, Nohar is concerned, deserves to be quashed.

10. The result is that this writ petitton is allowed and the re-auction notice (Ex. 6) so far as it relates to the re-auction of lease hold rights or theka for collecting bones for the year 1980-81 in respect of the Panchayat Samiti Nohar is concerned, is quashed. It will however, be open to the competent authority to pass orders for re-auction of the lease-hold rights or theka for collecting bones for the year 1980-81 in respect of the Panchayat Samiti, Nohar, in accordance with the law, after giving notice and affording an opportunity of being heard to the petitioner. It will, also be open to the petitioner to raise all objections inclusive that of jurisdiction to issue re-auction notice. In the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.


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