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Electrogears (P.) Ltd. Vs. Rehabilitation Industries Corporation Ltd. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.R. No. 12839 (W) of 1975
Judge
Reported inAIR1979Cal320
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; ;Electricity Act, 1910 - Section 24
AppellantElectrogears (P.) Ltd.
RespondentRehabilitation Industries Corporation Ltd. and ors.
Appellant AdvocateB.S. Choudhury, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateSundar Lal Pal, Adv.
Cases ReferredExecutive Committee of Vaish Degree College v. Lakshmi Narain
Excerpt:
- .....latter by several letters informed the corporation that under the provisions of section 24 of the indian electricity act, 1910 they could not stop such supply except for default in payment of electricity dues. the petitioners further state that in spite of the same, the corporation has been persisting in its attitude and has recently held out such a threat to the petitioners by a letter dated 30th of april, 1975 written by its special officer, referred to in annexure b to the petition, although the petitioner has paid up its electric charges up to date. the petitioner replied to the said notice on 9th of may, 1975 but the respondents have not given any reply thereto and are likely to take an opportune moment to put their illegal notice into effect. this is the allegation in the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

B.C. Basak, J.

1. This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution directed against Rehabilitation Industries Corporation Limited and its officers. According to the petitioner they are occupiers of sheds Nos. A. 5-6 at the Behala Industrial Estate, Bonamali Naskar Road, Behala, District 24 Parganas founded by the opposite party under a scheme ofthe Government of India for the rehabilitation of Refugees from Pakistan (both wings). It is alleged that similar Industrial Estates were founded by the Government all over India and the tenants thereof were given the ownership of their respective plots under a hire purchase policy. It is further alleged that the tenants of the Behala Estate were also promised such ownership by the Government. It is alleged that the Rehabilitation Industries Corporation filed suits against their tenants, but later they took recourse to a method of compelling their tenants to pay their rents stopping their supply of Electricity, on the ground that they could do it under a provision of the contract of tenancy (licence). The Corporation is a licensee under the Electricity Board. The tenants appealed to the Electricity authorities and the latter by several letters informed the Corporation that under the provisions of Section 24 of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 they could not stop such supply except for default in payment of Electricity dues. The petitioners further state that in spite of the same, the Corporation has been persisting in its attitude and has recently held out such a threat to the petitioners by a letter dated 30th of April, 1975 written by its special officer, referred to in Annexure B to the petition, although the petitioner has paid up its electric charges up to date. The petitioner replied to the said notice on 9th of May, 1975 but the respondents have not given any reply thereto and are likely to take an opportune moment to put their illegal notice into effect. This is the allegation in the petition.

2. Mr. Pal, learned advocate appearing on behalf of the respondents has taken a preliminary objection. He has submitted that the respondent No. 1 is a Company registered under the Companies Act and the respondents Nos. 2 and 3 are its officers. No writ lies against a private individual. Similar is the position when the Company is incorporated under the Companies Act.

3. In answer thereto, Mr. Choudhury appearing in support of this Rule has submitted that this is a Government of India undertaking and all the shares are held by the President of India. Accordingly it stands in the same footing as the State. The admitted position is that this company is registered under the Companies Act. He has further submitted that the allegation is that of breachof Section 24 of Indian Electricity Act, 1910. He has submitted that if there is a public duty and there is a breach thereto, writ petition lies irrespective of the question as to who is the person concerned. He has submitted that in this case the respondents were under an obligation imposed under the said Act and if there is a breach thereof then a writ would lie.

4. In my opinion, this point has been decided by various decisions of the Supreme Court. Sukhdey Singh v. Bhagatram Sardar Singh Raghuvanshi, : (1975)ILLJ399SC and Subhajit Tewary v. Union of India, : (1975)ILLJ374SC cases referred to in the case of Executive Committee of Vaish Degree College v. Lakshmi Narain reported in : (1976)IILLJ163SC . If it is a company registered under the Companies Act then it is not a statutory body. There is a difference between an Institution created by or under the Statute and owes its existence to a statute and where it is merely an institution which is governed by statutory provision for the proper maintenance and administration of the Institution. A company incorporated under the Companies Act is not a statutory body. It is merely created in accordance with the provision of the Statute.

5. I am unable to accept the contention of Mr. Choudhury that merely because there is a duty imposed by a statute on a person or a company if there is a breach of that duty a writ would lie. Under certain circumstances a suit may lie but not necessarily a writ proceeding. Certain obligations may be imposed under the provision of a statute on certain individuals. A statutory duty may be imposed by a statute on certain individuals. If there is interference with the same by an individual, proceedings may be instituted, including a suit, against the private individual concerned but certainly it cannot be said that on such a ground a writ would He against the individual concerned. There is no difference, so far as writ proceedings are concerned, between such a case and the case where the proposed respondent is a company registered under the Companies Act or a Society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act or Societies Registration Act even if there is a breach of any statutory duty.

6. In that view of the matter, this writ petition is not maintainable. Accordingly I dismiss this application anddischarge this Rule without any order asto costs. All interim orders are vacated.


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