At, High Court of Meghalaya
By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. MOHAMMAD YAQOOB MIR & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE H.S. THANGKHIEW
For the Petitioners: H.L. Shangreiso, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, G. Uzir, Sr. Advocate, H. Saikia, R2, N. Mozika, Advocates.
Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, C.J.(Oral)
This appeal is directed against the judgmentdated 29.11.2018 passed in WP (C) No.36 of 2018 titled "Ms. Lyntibashisha Nongrum v. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited & ors".
2. Appellants (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited) a Government of India enterprise admittedly had issued notice for appointment of regular/rural retail outlet dealerships in Meghalaya, for 21 locations which include location No.18 "Between KM Stone 31 to KM Stone 41 on NH 44E".
3. It is the joint submissions of learned counsel for the parties that only two persons i.e. respondents No.1 and 2 submitted their applications. Application of respondent No.1 on technical ground was rejected, as a result whereof, respondent No.2 was appointed as retail outlet dealer for the said location.
4. Respondent No.1 aggrieved of the action of the appellants filed WP (C) No.36 of 2018 with a prayer to command the respondents, more particularly Senior Regional Manager, Ulubari, Guwahati, Assam to reconsider the case of the petitioner for appointment of regular retail outlet dealership against the said location at Sr.l.No.18 "Between KM Stone 31 to KM Stone 41 on NH 44E". The appointment as dealer of respondent No.2 who was arrayed as respondent No.5 in the writ petition was not challenged as no prayer for quashing the allotment in favour of respondent No.2 (respondent No.5 therein) was sought.
5. While disposing of the writ petition, learned Single Judge taking note of the rival submissions has directed the respondents to consider the application filed by the petitioner (respondent No.1 herein), if any, and give her permit to run an alternative petrol pump and not to reject it on mere technicality or personal grudge.
6. In the judgment while recording the submission of respondents No.1 to 4 (appellants) to the effect that they have already issued advertisement notice inviting application, if Court directs, a corrigendum could be issued so as to add location NH 44E in West Khasi Hills District.
7. Learned Single Judge also while observed that the respondents No.1 to 4 shall give priority to the application of the writ petitioner, if filed. Learned Single Judge has further added it has been brought to notice by Mr. TT Diengdoh, senior advocate that the Government of India is going to grant permit for another 225 petrol pumps in the State of Meghalaya. In such circumstances, petitioner should be accommodated in NH 44E. Finally, writ petition has been allowed. The exercise was to be completed as early as possible. In case any injustice is caused to the petitioner, petitioner will be at liberty to approach the Court once again for further direction.
8. It is the contention of learned counsel for the appellants that the submission of learned counsel who had appeared before the writ court on behalf of respondents No.1 to 4 therein (appellants herein) has no basis because no fresh advertisement notice was issued.
9. Learned counsel for the respondent No.1 (writ petitioner) was pointedly asked as to whether the appointment of respondent No.2 as dealer has been challenged when it is an admitted fact that respondent No.2 had been appointed and is running the petrol pump right from the date of her appointment. Firstly, from the prayer clauses of the writ petition no such prayer has been made as a result whereof learned counsel could not say anything about non-challenge to the appointment of respondent No.2 as a dealer. For a particular location when respondent No.2 is appointed, there is no other location advertised or available in the same location for which respondent No.1 could be considered. This position of the case has escaped the attention of learned Single Judge.
10. Writ petition in absence of the challenge to the appointment of respondent No.2 as dealer was not worth to be maintained. The contention of learned counsel for the respondent No.1 that the application of respondent No.1 was rejected on technical ground i.e. in view of deficiency of the land offered but same was made good despite that the application was not accepted. But the position is refuted by the respondents because in their affidavit they have clearly stated that there was time limit for considering the application. When the writ petitioner herself admitted that there was some deficiency, action of the appellants could not be faulted with. This position too has escaped the attention of learned Single Judge.
11. Learned counsel for the appellants was fair enough to state that the position to grant permit of 225 petrol pumps in the State of Meghalaya as was brought to the notice of learned Single Judge by senior advocate Mr. TT Diengdoh is factually correct but same has been challenged before this Court. However, as and when applications will be invited after decision o
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f the Court anyone eligible has the right to apply and compete. In case writ petitioner applies will be considered by the concerned authority. 12. After bestowing out thoughtful consideration to the entire material available on record and submissions as made by learned counsel for the parties for the stated reasons, the judgment impugned dated 29.11.2018 is not sustainable appeal is allowed, judgment impugned is set aside. As a result whereof, writ petition of the petitioner shall stand dismissed. 13. No order as to cost.