L. Narayana Swamy, CJ.
1. Issue notice. Mr. Baljinder Singh, Advocate, appears and waives service of notice on behalf of the respondents.
2. The case of the petitioner is that the respondent-Corporation issued an advertisement notice on 25th November, 2018 (Annexure P-1) to appoint retail outlet dealers at various locations in the State of Himachal Pradesh, which was responded to by the petitioner for award of retail outlet dealership at the location 'within 3 km from Baldwara Government Hospital towards Ghumarwin on NH-3, District Mandi, H.P.' under unreserved category. The result of the Draw of Lots for retail outlet dealership was declared by the respondent-Corporation on 28th February, 2019 (Annexure P- 2) and the petitioner was declared as selected. A communication (Annexure P-3) was also sent through e-mail to the petitioner on the same day declaring him as successful candidate in the Draw of Lots for selection of retail outlet dealership at the location 'within 3 km from Baldwara Government Hospital towards Ghumarwin on NH 3, District Mandi', under open category and he was asked to remit online Rs. 50,000/- towards Initial Security Deposit alongwith the relevant documents, whereupon the petitioner deposited the said amount and submitted the relevant documents (Annexure P-4) to the respondent-Corporation. Thereafter, to the surprise of the petitioner, on 2nd December, 2019, the respondents sent an e-mail (Annexure P-5) to the petitioner intimating him about the cancellation of the subject location, i.e. 'within 3 km from Baldwara Government Hospital towards Ghumarwin on NH 3, District Mandi'.
3. The said cancellation of the location of fuel outlet has been challenged by the petitioner by way of the instant writ petition on the ground that the decision of the respondent-Corporation to cancel the subject location is contrary to law, since no reason has been assigned by them for such cancellation.
4. Mr. B.N. Misra, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent-Corporation, prays for dismissal of the writ petition. He submitted that in the advertisement notice itself, it has been mentioned that the Corporation reserves the right to cancel the advertised location at any time, without assigning any reason and when such a condition has been imposed in the advertisement notice itself, it is not open for the petitioner to challenge the cancellation.
5. It is his further submission that the advertisement notice for allotment of the retail outlet at the location, subject matter of the writ petition, has been notified by the respondent-Corporation on the basis of the report of the Local Sales Officer that the said location falls under National Highway-3, but, when, after issuance of the Gazette Notification by the Government of Himachal Pradesh, it was noticed that the said location does not fall under National Highway-3, rather, is on a District Highway, the allotment made in favour of the petitioner has been cancelled.
6. Learned Senior Counsel for the respondent-Corporation, while justifying the action of the respondent-Corporation in cancelling the allotment made in favour of the petitioner further submitted that the amount paid by the petitioner will be refunded to him, as in the impugned order of cancellation (Annexure P-5), it has been mentioned that "Please note that the subject location stands cancelled. Application fee if paid will be refunded." and this communication has to be read in conjunction with the advertisement notice issued at the initial stage, wherein it has been notified that the respondent-Corporation reserves the right to cancel the advertised location at any time, without assigning any reason.
7. We have heard learned counsel for both the parties.
8. At this stage, learned counsel for the petitioner seeks time to produce on record the relevant documents to show that the location, subject matter of the instant writ petition, still falls under the National Highway and not a District Highway.
9. It is worthwhile to record herein that the perusal of the documents annexed with the writ petition, including the advertisement notice issued by the respondent-Corporation, more particularly the name of the location, i.e. 'within 3 km from Baldwara Govt. Hospital towards Ghumarwin on NH 3', does disclose that the intention of the respondent-Corporation right from the beginning was to allot the retail outlet dealership on a National Highway and the petitioner also, has applied for allotment of retail outlet dealership with the intention to open the outlet at a National Highway, i.e. NH-3.
10. The respondent-Corporation have issued the advertisement notice, on the basis of the report of the Local Sales Officer, with the understanding that the location, where they intended to allot the retail outlet dealership, falls under National Highway-3, which report was not found correct when Gazette Notification was issued by the State Government clarifying that the said location comes under a District Highway.
11. When a wrong has been committed by the respondent-Corporation on the basis of the wrong information supplied by the Local Sales Officer, the respondent-Corporation was well within its rights to cancel the advertisement notice, when the advertisement notice itself contains a clause that the respondent-Corporation reserves a right to cancel the advertised location at any time, without assigning any reason. Accordingly, on noticing the fact that the location, for which the application has been made by the petitioner, has wrongly been notified by the respondent-Corporation as a National Highway, the respondent-Corporation have rightly cancelled the subject location.
12. Under these circumstances, we do not find any infirmity or error committed by the respondent-Corporation.
13. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that he has to verify as
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
to whether the location, for which he has applied, still falls under National Highway or is a District Highway. 14. If that is the case, it is open to the petitioner to submit all particulars to the respondent-Corporation within a period of four weeks. On receipt of any particulars or further records to the effect that the location, subject matter of the writ petition, is still on National Highway-3, then the respondent-Corporation is directed to consider the same and pass appropriate orders within four weeks thereafter. 15. With these observations, the writ petition is disposed of, so also the pending miscellaneous applications, if any.