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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “MPRTC - Indore Development Authority - leased the land of 10 acres for 30 years -BOT Scheme.- Govt. decided to wind up the MPRTC - Lease deed was cancelled - Writ by Highest Bidder for deliver of possession of land - Writ by MPRTC challenging the cancellation - High court directions to settle the matter between two Govt. Bodies - Not challenged - Doctrine of Self Frustration - Apex court held that Doctrine self frustration not applies to India Law - Lease terminated validly - Remedy is a civil suit but not writ - dismissed the SLP = Sri Ram Builders …Appellant VERSUS State of M.P. & Ors. ...Respondents =2014 (April. Part)http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41477

 Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation  (hereinafter  referred   to   as   “MPRTC - Indore
  Development  Authority  - leased the land of 10 acres for 30 years -BOT  Scheme.- Govt.decided to wind up   the MPRTC - Lease deed was cancelled - Writ by Highest Bidder for deliver of possession of land - Writ by MPRTC  challenging  the cancellation - High court directions to settle the matter between two Govt. Bodies - Not challenged - Doctrine of Self Frustration - Apex court held that Doctrine self frustration not applies to India Law - Lease terminated validly - Remedy is a civil suit but not writ - dismissed the SLP = 
 In 1979, Respondent No.2 / Madhya Pradesh Road Transport
              Corporation  (hereinafter  referred   to   as   “MPRTC”)
              proposed to  construct  a  bus  stand  at  Vijay  Nagar,
              Indore. To this end, an Agreement for  Lease  dated  2nd
              November, 1981 was entered into  between  the  Transport
              Corporation  and  Respondent   No.5/              Indore
              Development  Authority  (hereinafter  referred   to   as
              “IDA”), by which the land belonging to IDA,  admeasuring
              10 acres situated at Vijay  Nagar,  Indore  (hereinafter
              referred  to  as  “proposed  site”)  was  agreed  to  be
              allotted to the Transport Corporation, initially, for 30
              years. In pursuance of the Lease  Agreement,  possession
              of the proposed site was handed over to the MPRTC.=

     A  lease  deed  dated  2nd  November,  1981  was
              entered into between MPRTC and IDA.  The  possession  of
              the land was handed over to MPRTC on 22nd January, 1982.
              Initially, the lease was taken  by  the  MPRTC  for  the
              purpose of  a  bus  stand.  It  appears  that  no  final
              decision was taken till  8th  November,  2001  when  the
              Council of Ministers of the State Government  authorized
              the construction of a commercial  complex  on  the  land
              under  BOT  Scheme.  A  tender  notice  was  issued   on
              13th April, 2002. On 7th July,  2003,  the  bid  of  the
              appellant was found to be the  highest.  The  amount  as
              mentioned in Para  6  earlier,  was  duly  paid  by  the
              appellant. A separate agreement was entered into between
              MPRTC and the appellant on 4th February, 2004 which read
              alongwith the tender document provided as under:
                 “The successful promoters/builders will have the  right  to
                 market  the  saleable  space  made  available  to  him   on
                 different floors in the commercial complex, collect premium
                 on such allotment from prospective buyers.”  
On 25th May, 2004, MPRTC  deposited  the  lease  rental
              with IDA. A formal lease was executed on            26th
              May,  2004.  As  noticed  earlier,  the  lease  was  for
              30 years. The leased land (plot) was to be used only for
              the bus terminal. It was specifically provided that  the
              plot cannot be divided. The possession of the  plot  had
              been received on 22nd  January,  1982.  The  lease  also
              provided that the Rules published in the gazette on 16th
              December, 1977 shall be binding on the lessee.  Rule  40
              of the aforesaid Niyam/Rules read as under :
                 “The lessee may take possession of the  plot  on  the  date
                 fixed or notified to him for taking over possession of  the
                 plot and the lease of the plot shall commence from the date
                 irrespective of the fact  “whatsoever,  possession  of  the
                 plot has been taken or not and the  lessee  shall  pay  all
                 rates and taxes where leviable the owner or the lessee from
                 the date.”


          46. On 24th June, 2004, IDA gave its no  objection  for  bus
              terminal-cum-commercial complex to be constructed  under
              the BOT  Scheme.  On  18th  December,  2005,  the  State
              Government decided to wind up the MPRTC. The proposal of
              the State Government was not approved by the Ministry of
              Shipping and Road Transport,  Government  of  India.  On
              17th November, 2008, a letter was issued  informing  the
              State  Government  that  the  Ministry  of  Labour   had
              declined to grant permission for closure  under  Section
              25-O of  the  Industrial  Disputes  Act,  1947.  On  5th
              August, 2005, the directions were  issued  by  the  High
              Court in the writ petition filed by the  appellant.  SLP
              filed against these directions  was  dismissed  by  this
              Court on 7th October, 2005.  In  the  contempt  petition
              filed  by  the  appellant  for  non  compliance  of  the
              directions of the High Court  dated         5th  August,
              2005,  MPRTC  was  restrained  from  handing  over   the
              possession of the property  or  to  create  third  party
              interest/rights. On 2nd November, 2007,  the  lease  was
              cancelled by IDA on the ground that MPRTC  had  violated
              the prescribed conditions by handing over the possession
              to RTO. As noticed  earlier,  the  cancellation  of  the
              lease  was  challenged  by  MPRTC,  by  way  of  a  writ
              petition, which was disposed of by  the  High  Court  on
              11th December, 2007 by referring the entire issue to the
              Chief Secretary. The appellant  did  not  challenge  the
              order dated 2nd November,  2007  but  submitted  to  the
              jurisdiction  of  the  Chief  Secretary  by   filing   a
              comprehensive representation. Even in the writ  petition
              in  which  the  impugned  order  had  been  passed,  the
              appellant had only challenged Clauses III, IV and  V  of
              the order of the Chief Secretary.


 the lease has come  to
              an end by efflux of time.  This apart, MPRTC is  heavily
              indebted and had sought permission of the State and  the
              Union of India to wind up. Furthermore, there was also a
              breach of the terms and conditions of the lease  on  the
              basis of which it has been terminated in accordance with
              law.


          59. In any event,  these  are  issues  which  would  involve
              adjudication of disputed questions  of  fact  which  can
              only be  suitably  adjudicated  in  the  civil  suit  as
              directed by the High Court in the impugned judgment. The
              appellant shall be  at  liberty  to  seek  its  remedies
              against MPRTC for breach of  contract.   Our  conclusion
              that  the  High  Court  was  right  in   rejecting   the
              contentions of the Appellant herein is also supported by
              the law  laid  in  Rajasthan  Housing   Board  vs.  G.S.
              Investments (supra) which was relied upon by  Mr.  Cama.
              We may notice here the following excerpt:


                 “..the Court should exercise its discretionary power  under
                 Article 226 of the Constitution with great care and caution
                 and should  exercise  it  only  in  furtherance  of  public
                 interest. The Court should always keep  the  larger  public
                 interest in mind in  order  to  decide  whether  it  should
                 interfere with the decision of the authority.”                
For the aforesaid reasons, we see  no  merit  in  the
           appeals.  The civil appeals are, therefore, dismissed.
2014 (April. Part)http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41477   
SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, A.K. SIKRI
      REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                CIVIL APPEAL NO.   4896              OF 2014
                (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 35001 of 2012)


           Sri                      Ram                       Builders
           …Appellant


           VERSUS


           State of M.P. & Ors.
           ...Respondents


                                    WITH


                  CIVIL APPEAL NO.     4897        OF 2014
                (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 35017 of 2012)


                                    WITH


                     CIVIL APPEAL NOS.4898-4899 OF 2014
            (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) Nos. 35027-35028 of 2012)


                                    WITH


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4900 OF 2014
                (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 36887 of 2012)




                               J U D G M E N T




           SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, J.
           1. Leave granted.
           2. The Civil Appeal …………of 2014 arising out of  S.L.P.  (C)
              No. 35001 of 2012 impugning the  judgment  of  the  M.P.
              High Court at Jabalpur rendered  in  Writ  Petition  No.
              2937 of 2009.  The Writ Petition has  been  disposed  of
              along with Review Application MCC No. 99 of 2009 and MCC
              No. 893 of 2008 as well as Contempt Petition No. 469  of
              2008.  The writ  petition  has  been  disposed  of  with
              certain  directions.   Whereas  the  aforesaid  Contempt
              Petition and the two Review Petitions have been disposed
              of in view of the order passed in Writ Petition No. 2937
              of 2009.


           3.  The  relevant  facts  leading  to  the  filing  of  the
              aforesaid SLP are as follows:-


           4. In 1979, Respondent No.2 / Madhya Pradesh Road Transport
              Corporation  (hereinafter  referred   to   as   “MPRTC”)
              proposed to  construct  a  bus  stand  at  Vijay  Nagar,
              Indore. To this end, an Agreement for  Lease  dated  2nd
              November, 1981 was entered into  between  the  Transport
              Corporation  and  Respondent   No.5/              Indore
              Development  Authority  (hereinafter  referred   to   as
              “IDA”), by which the land belonging to IDA,  admeasuring
              10 acres situated at Vijay  Nagar,  Indore  (hereinafter
              referred  to  as  “proposed  site”)  was  agreed  to  be
              allotted to the Transport Corporation, initially, for 30
              years. In pursuance of the Lease  Agreement,  possession
              of the proposed site was handed over to the MPRTC.


           5. The Council of Ministers, State of Madhya Pradesh,  vide
              order dated 8th November, 2001, authorised the Transport
              Corporation to construct a  commercial  complex  on  the
              land owned by it or allotted to it  on  lease,  under  a
              Build, Own-Operate and Transfer (“BOT”)  Scheme  through
              open  tenders.  The  revenue  generated  from  the  said
              project(s) was to be used to discharge the liability  of
              the MPRTC. On 13th April, 2003, a notice  inviting  bids
              for selection of a developer under the  BOT  Scheme  was
              issued and  published  in  the  leading  newspapers.  In
              response  to  this  notice,  a  total  number   of   ten
              applications  were  received;  and  out  of  those   ten
              applications, five were  found  to  have  satisfied  the
              eligibility criteria.  Appellant was placed at Sr.  No.1
              in the list of the candidates satisfying the eligibility
              criteria.   Thereafter,   a   Special   Committee    was
              constituted for the scrutiny  of  tenders  received  for
              construction of the bus stand/commercial premises  under
              the B.O.T.  Scheme.  On  3rd  July,  2003,  the  Special
              Committee recommended  that  since  the  premium  amount
              offered by the bidders was less, further negotiations be
              held with all the qualified  bidders.  Accordingly,  the
              Special Committee held negotiations with  the  qualified
              bidders on 7th July, 2003, wherein the  Appellant’s  bid
              for the B.O.T. Scheme was found to be the highest.


           6. MPRTC, after scrutiny  of  the  financial  bid  and  the
              proposal submitted by the Appellant for  B.O.T.  scheme,
              approved    its    bid    vide     Acceptance     Letter
                   dated 3rd October, 2003. In the Acceptance  Letter,
              the Appellant was directed to deposit 25 per cent amount
              of the total premium amount of Rupees One Crore  Sixteen
              Lac  Thirty  Seven  Thousand  Seven  Hundred  and  Fifty
              (Rs.1,16,37,750/-) within 15 days of the issuance of the
              Acceptance Letter. Accordingly, Appellant deposited  the
              first installment of  Rs.1,16,37,750/-.   The  appellant
              also have to pay a further sum of Rs.7,33,320/- demanded
              by MPRTC as consultancy fees.


           7. In pursuance of  the  Acceptance  Letter,  an  Agreement
              dated 4th February, 2004 was entered  into  between  the
              Appellant and  the  MPRTC.  This  agreement  inter  alia
              provided that the tender document  with  scope  of  work
              general   conditions,   special   conditions,    general
              specifications, list of brands and offer price bid shall
              form part of the agreement.


           8. The MPRTC issued a work order dated 16th March, 2004  to
              the Appellant for demolishing the existing structure  on
              the land; to be replaced by the commercial complex.   On
              11th  May,  2004,  the   State   Government   issued   a
              notification, in exercise of powers under Sections 35(2)
              and 35(3) of the Madhya Pradesh Nagar Tatha Gram  Nivesh
              Adhiniyam,   1973   (hereinafter    referred    to    as
              “Adhiniyam”), by which out of 10 acres of land at  Vijay
              Nagar  which  had  been  earmarked  for  the  bus  stand
              (proposed site), 3.59 acres of land was permitted to  be
              used for commercial purposes.


           9. On 14th May, 2004, the Appellant requested the MPRTC  to
              hand over the possession of the proposed site,  so  that
              the structure existing thereon could be  demolished  and
              new   bus   stand-cum-commercial   complex   could    be
              constructed, in accordance with the terms and conditions
              of the tender/agreement.


          10. On 27TH May, 2004, a lease deed was executed  in  favour
              of    MPRTC    by    the    IDA    upon    payment    of
              Rs. 24,27,052/- by the Appellant. This payment was  made
              by  the  Appellant  in  order  to  let   the   Transport
              Corporation  pay  its  arrears  to   IDA.   Subsequently
                       on 24th June, 2004, IDA  gave  a  No  Objection
              Certificate (“NOC”) to the MPRTC for  the  proposed  BOT
              project. Also, the Deputy  Director,  Town  and  Country
              Planning  granted  approval  to  the   MPRTC   for   the
              construction of the Bus Stand and Commercial Complex.


          11. On 28th June, 2004, Writ Petition No. 801 of  2004  came
              to be filed by one Suresh Seth, before the Indore  Bench
              of the High  Court  of  Madhya  Pradesh,  assailing  the
              Notification dated 11th May, 2004. By this notification,
              as observed earlier, reservation of  land  use  of  3.59
              acres was changed by  the  State  Government.  The  High
              Court, vide order  dated  9th  September,  2004,  sought
              reports from the State Government as well as  the  MPRTC
              and  IDA.  In  their  respective  reports,   the   State
              Government, MPRTC and  IDA  stated  that  the  said  BOT
              project  was  in  public  interest  and  justified   the
              Notification dated 11th May, 2004.


          12. Meanwhile on 6th January, 2005, the Joint Director, Town
              and Country Planning sanctioned the detailed  site  plan
              of proposed BOT project. The Appellant also applied  the
              Municipal  Corporation,  Indore  for  sanction  of   the
              building plan, but the  same  was  not  granted  on  the
              ground that Writ Petition No. 801 of  2004  was  pending
              before the High Court.


          13.  On  23rd  February,  2005,  IDA  issued  a  certificate
              indicating therein  that  in  respect  of  the  proposed
              B.O.T. Project, premium as well as 15 years’ lease  rent
              had already been deposited. On the basis of  the  above,
              the IDA indicated that there shall be no  objection,  if
              land in question is mortgaged with any  bank,  financial
              institution or the Government.


          14. In  the  meanwhile,  there  was  a  move  by  the  State
              Government for closure of the MPRTC.  In  this  context,
              the Government of India  granted  no  objection  to  the
              State Government on 23rd March,  2005,  subject  to  the
              condition that the State Government shall ensure and  be
              fully  responsible  for  ensuring  compliance   of   any
              existing/future  order(s)  passed  by  various   Courts,
              including Tribunals,  in  any/all  matters  relating  to
              MPRTC.


          15. The Appellant filed Writ Petition No. 636 of 2005 in the
              High  Court  seeking  a  direction  to  the   MPRTC   to
              immediately hand over possession of the land in question
              to the Appellant and grant permission  to  demolish  the
              existing  structure.  On  5th  August,  2005,  the  Writ
              Petition No. 636 of 2005  was disposed of  by  the  High
              Court with the following directions:
               i. “That petitioner shall deposit the entire balance amount
                  within a period of one month alongwith  interest  @  18%
                  per annum, w.e.f. July 2004 when  the  2nd   installment
                  became due
              ii. Upon  depositing  entire  amount  the  respondent  shall
                  handover the vacant possession to the petitioner, within
                  two weeks, with a permission, to demolish the  structure
                  as per the agreement. Respondent shall also  pursue  the
                  matter with the Municipal Corporation  to  handover  all
                  part of the premises, which is in their occupation.
             iii. Respondent shall deposit the map for sanction before the
                  competent authorities immediately, if not submitted,  so
                  far. In case the map  has  already  been  submitted  the
                  respondent shall give the authority to  the  petitioner,
                  to pursue the matter before  the  competent  authorities
                  for obtaining the permission and shall  extend  all  the
                  assistance for the purpose of obtaining permission.
              iv. After taking possession, the petitioner shall  construct
                  and  hand  over  the  construction   property   to   the
                  respondent as per terms of the tender notice/agreement.
               v. The competent authorities shall consider the application
                  of the respondent for permission  and  shall  grant  the
                  permission in accordance with law.”


                  The  Appellant  deposited  Rs.2,95,03,752/-  towards
           premium  and  a  further  sum  of  Rs.27,53,536/-   towards
           interest to the MPRTC, in terms  of  the  aforesaid  order.
           Thereafter, again, the Appellant requested the  Respondents
           herein to hand over the possession of the proposed site  to
           the appellant.  A Notice was issued by the appellant to the
           MPRTC dated 12th September, 2005, requesting to  hand  over
           possession of the land, in terms of the directions  of  the
           High Court dated 5th August, 2005.


          16.  At  that  stage,  the  Principal  Secretary,  Transport
              Department/Respondent No.  2  herein,  recorded  a  note
              dated   15th   September,    2005,    questioning    the
              justification for constructing bus  stand  and  observed
              that  the  construction  was  not  in  public   interest
              particularly when a decision had been taken by the State
              Government to wind up the MPRTC.  Soon  thereafter,  the
              MPRTC filed Special Leave Petition  No.  20038  of  2005
              before  this  Court  challenging  the  order  dated  5th
              August, 2005 passed by the  High  Court.  This  SLP  was
              dismissed by this Court vide order  dated  7th  October,
              2005.


          17. Possession of the proposed site still  not  having  been
              delivered, the Appellant filed Contempt Petition No. 466
              of 2005 (renumbered as  Contempt  Petition  No.  469  of
              2008) before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh.  In  this
              Contempt Petition, the Appellant  moved  an  application
              for injunction on 11th November, 2005 (I.A. No. 1060  of
              2005)  restraining  the  MPRTC  from  handing  over  the
              possession of the proposed site to the State  Government
              for establishing the Regional Transport Office. The High
              Court on 14th November, 2005, directed MPRTC to maintain
              status quo and not to handover  the  possession  of  the
              proposed site or to create any 3rd party  interest.   In
              spite of the aforesaid  order,  the  possession  of  the
              proposed site was  handed  over  by  the  MPRTC  to  the
              Transport Department on 16th November, 2005, for opening
              the R.T.O.  A test centre for driving licences has  been
              established  on  the  land  meant  for  the   commercial
              complex.


          18. In the  meantime,  State  of  Madhya  Pradesh  moved  an
              application, MCC No.  1072  of  2005,  before  the  High
              Court, seeking recall of the  order  dated  5th  August,
              2005 passed in Writ Petition No. 636 of 2005. The  MPRTC
              also filed MCC No. 5 of 2006, seeking identical  relief,
              i.e. recall of order dated 5th  August,  2005.   It  was
              claimed that a decision had been taken by the M.P. State
              Government to wind up MPRTC.  On 23rd March, 2005, MPRTC
              had been issued a  notice  of  demand  for  recovery  of
              Rs.2387/- crores as Tax dues.   The  property  earmarked
              for the commercial complex, was one  of  the  properties
              seized by the State  Authorities  on  19th  July,  2005.
              Since the possession was already taken by the State,  no
              direction for delivery of possession  to  the  Appellant
              could have been issued on 5th August, 2005.  These facts
              could not be placed before the High Court, as the  State
              was not impleaded as a party in Writ Petition No. 636 of
              2005.


          19. Thereafter, Appellant moved I.A. No. 7064 of 2006 in the
              Contempt Petition before the High Court to  implead  the
              Transport Department - Respondent No.  2  herein,  as  a
              respondent in  the  Contempt  Petition.  This  I.A.  was
              allowed by the High Court by order  dated  6th  October,
              2006. During the course  of  hearing  of  this  Contempt
              Petition, Appellant moved another I.A. No. 6906 of 2007,
              seeking a direction  to  the  respondents  to  place  on
              record the following:
                 “1(a) On what date and which inward number the order of the
                 government directing the RTO, Indore to attach  the  MPSRTC
                 Property at Indore was received by RTO, Indore pursuant  to
                 which the so called attachment dated 9.7.2005 was made.


                 1(b) On what date, by which letter number  and  under  what
                 dispatch number the fact of attachment and  acquisition  of
                 property/land  was  sent  by  RTO,  Indore  to  the   State
                 Government (Original Letters, original dispatch  register).
                 And  on  what  date,  by  which  the  inward  number   this
                 information was received.”
                 According to the Appellant, the respondents could not
           furnish the said information to the Court,  despite  having
           sought a number of opportunities in that regard.


          20. Meanwhile on 2nd November, 2007, the IDA  cancelled  the
              lease of the MPRTC for violation of the lease  terms  by
              running  the  RTO.   Cancellation  of  the   lease   was
              challenged by the MPRTC through Writ Petition  No.  6770
              of  2007  in  the  High  Court  of  Madhya  Pradesh.  On
              11th December, 2007,  the  High  Court  without  issuing
              notice to the Appellant, who was impleaded as Respondent
              No.3, disposed of the Writ Petition with  the  following
              observations:-
                 “When two instrumentalities of the State, such  as  in  the
                 present case, choose to bring their disputes in open court,
                 the loss is of the general public.  The  public  confidence
                 in the credibility of  the  State  Govt.  and  its  various
                 wings/functionaries  and  its  instrumentalities  comes  at
                 stake.


                 In these circumstances, I  do  not  find  that  this  Court
                 should  continue  with  the  proceedings  in  the   present
                 Petition.  I deem  it  appropriate  to  request  the  Chief
                 Secretary, State of Madhya Pradesh, to take up  the  matter
                 at his level and after holding a meeting with the Principal
                 Secretary,  Transport  Department,   Principal   Secretary,
                 Housing  and  Environment  Department  and   the   Managing
                 Director of the M.P. Road Transport Corporation  Ltd.  take
                 such further action, as may be deemed appropriate,  in  the
                 facts and circumstances of the case.   However,  the  Chief
                 Secretary shall ensure  that  the  officers  of  the  State
                 Government and various other instrumentalities of the State
                 Government are not allowed to  bring  out  their  inter  se
                 disputes in public in future”.


          21.  On  17th  November,  2008,  the   Central   Government,
              Department of Transport & Highways  informed  the  State
              Government  of  Madhya  Pradesh  that  the  request  for
              permission for closure of MPRTC under the provisions  of
              the Road Transport Corporation Act,  for  which  earlier
              no-objection had been given, was being declined  keeping
              in view the decision of Ministry of Labour & Employment,
              and that it would  now  have  to  continue  its  current
              operations.


          22.       The     Appellant     submitted     representation
                 dated 20th February, 2009, wherein attention  of  the
              Chief Secretary was drawn to the pendency of the  review
              petitions filed by the State of Madhya Pradesh  and  the
              MPRTC; and the Contempt Petition filed by the  Appellant
              and the order passed therein,  whereby  status  quo  was
              ordered to be maintained.
          23. In spite of the aforesaid representation, Respondent No.
              1 held the meeting on 4th March, 2009 as directed by the
              High Court, wherein it was inter alia decided as under:
                 “I.          Order  dated  02.11.2007  and   notice   dated
                       30.06.07 for cancellation of lease  of  the  land  in
                       question of the Transport Corporation by  the  I.D.A.
                       be cancelled.
                 II.         R.T.O. be ordered for releasing the land by the
                       Transport Department for attachment.
                 III.        The M.P. Road Transport Corporation shall  hand
                       over land in question to I.D.A.
                 IV.   The amount which has been received by  the  Transport
                       Corporation from Sh. Ram Builders shall  be  returned
                       along with interest to Sh. Ram Builder.
                 V.    Decision with respect to further use  and  management
                       of the land shall be taken by I.D.A.”
          24. Aggrieved by Clause (III), (IV) and (V) of the aforesaid
              decision, Appellant preferred Writ Petition No. 2937  of
              2009 before the High Court of Madhya  Pradesh.   It  was
              inter alia contended that the  directions  in  aforesaid
              clauses were in violation of  order  dated  5th  August,
              2005  of  the  High  Court  and  in  violation  of   the
              principles of natural justice.


          25.  The  High  Court  disposed   of   the   Writ   Petition
                    on  27th  September,  2012  with   the   following
              observations:-
                 “15.  The order dated 5.8.2005 passed in Writ Petition  No.
                 636/2005 directing the corporation to deliver possession of
                 site to the petitioner  cannot  be  implemented  after  the
                 lease  deed  was  cancelled  by  the  IDA.   It   is   this
                 cancellation  which  became  the  subject  matter  of  writ
                 petition No.6770/2007 and the  writ  petition  was  decided
                 vide order dated 11.12.2007 by another Single  Judge  Bench
                 directing the Chief Secretary for  resolving  the  dispute.
                 As  already  mentioned  above,  the  petitioner   did   not
                 challenge  the  order  dated  11.12.2007  and  submitted  a
                 detailed  representation  dated  20.02.2009  to  the  Chief
                 Secretary.   The  impugned  decision  taken  by  the  Chief
                 Secretary is in pursuance of the directions  given  by  the
                 High Court in Writ petition  No.  6770/2007  in  which  the
                 petitioner was also a party.  There is, thus, no  violation
                 of the principles of natural justice.  The decision reached
                 by the Chief Secretary directs that the entire amount  paid
                 by the petitioner be returned to  it  with  interest.   The
                 decision does not fix the rate of interest but we feel that
                 9% will be the proper interest having  regard  to  all  the
                 circumstances.  In view of  the  direction  to  return  the
                 amount with interest, as decided  by  us,  there  would  be
                 apparently no loss to the petitioner.  The respondents  are
                 directed to return the amount  with  interest  within  four
                 months from today.  If  the  petitioner  still  feels  that
                 there has been a breach of  contract,  it  can  pursue  the
                 remedy  of  specific  performance  or  damages   before   a
                 competent civil court.  We, therefore, decline to interfere
                 with the decision of the Chief Secretary except fixing  the
                 rate of interest, as indicated above.”


          26. In view of the aforesaid directions, the High Court also
              disposed of the  Contempt  Petition  No.  469  of  2008,
              Review Application Nos. MCC No. 99 of 2009 and  MCC  No.
              893 of 2008 without any further directions.


          27. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties.
          28. Mr. R.F. Nariman and Mr. P.S. Patwalia,  learned  senior
              counsel, appearing for the appellant submitted that  the
              reasoning adopted by the High Court in Paragraph  15  of
              the impugned judgment, which has been reproduced  above,
              was not even supported by the  respondents.   The  first
              reason given by the High Court is that the  Order  dated
              5th August, 2005 in Writ Petition   No. 636 of 2005  can
              not be implemented after cancellation of lease  deed  by
              the IDA.  This, according to the learned senior counsel,
              is  without  any  basis  as  by  the  order  dated  22nd
              February, 2009, the Chief Secretary  had  cancelled  the
              lease  deed.   Therefore,  the  order  dated         2nd
              November, 2007  having  been  nullified,  the  lease  in
              favour of MPRTC revived.  This  would  also  revive  the
              application of MPRTC to  cull  the  agreement  with  the
              appellant.  The second reason given by the  High  Court,
              according to     Mr. Nariman and Mr.  Patwalia  is  that
              the order dated  11th  December,  2007  passed  in  Writ
              Petition No. 6770 of 2007  was  not  challenged  by  the
              appellant, can not be supported in law.  It  is  pointed
              out by the learned senior  counsel  that  the  aforesaid
              writ petition was filed by MPRTC challenging  the  order
              of cancelling the deed in its favour by  the  IDA.   The
              appellant was not at all involved in the aforesaid  lis.
              In any event, the High Court had not passed any order on
              merits. It had merely left it for the Chief Secretary to
              decide the issue.  Therefore, no cause had arisen to the
              appellant to challenge the order  dated  11th  December,
              2007.   It  is  further  pointed  out  that  the   Chief
              Secretary in fact decided  the  substance  of  the  writ
              petition.  Substance of the grievance raised in the writ
              petition was decided in favour of MPRTC by setting aside
              the order of cancellation of the lease by the  IDA.   It
              is pointed out by the learned senior  counsel  that  IDA
              has not challenged the  order  of  the  Chief  Secretary
              cancelling the direction  of  IDA  with  regard  to  the
              cancellation of the lease.


          29. Learned senior counsel further submitted that the  Chief
              Secretary was expected to take a decision in  accordance
              with law, i.e., in accordance with the order of the High
              Court that has become final and binding and not contrary
              to that.  Furthermore, the order of the Chief  Secretary
              on directions (III), (IV)  and  (V),  which  affect  the
              rights of the  appellant  was  challenged  in  the  writ
              petition in which the impugned judgment has been passed.
               According to the appellant, the decision Nos.  (I)  and
              (II) were correct and, therefore, there were no occasion
              to challenge the same.  The directions (III),  (IV)  and
              (V) are contrary to Directions (I)  and  (II)  and  were
              beyond the scope  of  the  controversy  raised  in  Writ
              Petition No. 6770 of 2007, which had  been  referred  to
              the Chief Secretary by the High Court.  The order of the
              Secretary has been passed without issuing any notice  to
              the appellant, even though in  the  writ  petition,  the
              appellant was impleaded as  Respondent  No.  3.   It  is
              pointed out by the learned senior counsel that by way of
              abundant caution, the appellant has challenged the order
              dated                     11th December, 2007, passed in
              Writ Petition No. 6770 of 2007 in S.L.P.(C) No. 36887 of
              2012.


          30. Next it was submitted by the learned senior counsel that
              the actions of Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation
              (Respondent No.3) are in gross contempt  of  the  orders
              dated 5th August, 2005, which have not been purged  till
              date.  The aforesaid order has become  final  after  the
              dismissal   of   SLP   (C)    No.    20038    of    2005
              on 7th October, 2005.  It is submitted that  the  Review
              Petition MCC No. 99 of 2009 filed on 2nd  January,  2006
              after dismissal of the aforesaid  SLP  on  7th  October,
              2005 is an abuse of process  and  not  maintainable.  In
              support  of  this  submission,  learned  senior  counsel
              relies on Meghmala &  Ors.  Vs.  G.  Narasimha  Reddy  &
              Ors.[1]  (Paras  25  and  26).   Similarly,  the  Review
              Petition MCC No. 893 of 2008 is not maintainable for the
              same reason.  In any event, the Review Petition was  not
              decided on merits, which was disposed of in view of  the
              impugned order passed in the Writ Petition  with  regard
              to the cancellation of the lease.
          31. Thereafter, very detailed submissions have been made  on
              the construction of the lease deed.  However, it must be
              noticed here that the manner in which these  submissions
              have been advanced before us bear no resemblance to  the
              manner in which these submissions were made  before  the
              High Court.


          32.  Mr. R.F. Nariman has also submitted that  the  term  of
              lease has  to  be  understood  to  have  commenced  from
              26.05.2004, when the IDA  executed  a  formal  lease  in
              favour  of  MPRTC.  Further,  learned   senior   counsel
              submitted that the possession of the site  in  terms  of
              the lease cannot be held to be given on 22.1.1982,  when
              the agreement to lease  was  executed.  It  was  further
              submitted that where a  literal  reading  of  the  lease
              leads to an absurdity, the court has the power  to  read
              it reasonably. Such a reasonable reading,  according  to
                      Mr.  Nariman,  would   support   the   aforesaid
              submission, i.e. the lease commences from 26.05.2004. In
              this context,  learned  senior  counsel  rely  upon  the
              following  cases:  DDA  vs.  Durga  Chand   Kaushish[2];
              Ramkishore  Lal  vs.  Kamal  Narian[3]   and   Sahebzada
              Mohammad Kamgar Shah  vs.  Jagdish  Chandra  Deo  Dabhal
              Deo[4].  These  cases  reiterate  the  well  established
              principles of law relating to the construction of deeds,
              which are as follows: first, that the intention  of  the
              parties  to  a  grant  must  be  ascertained  first  and
              foremost from  the  disposition  clause.  Second,  clear
              disposition by an earlier clause will not be allowed  to
              be cut down by a later clause; and third, that  a  deed,
              being  a  grantor’s  document,  has  to  be  interpreted
              strictly against him and in the favour of the grantee.


          33. Mr. Nariman also submitted that the  Respondents  cannot
              rely upon Clause 5E of the Agreement to Lease, after the
              execution of the Lease Deed. Substantiating this, it was
              submitted that the Renewal Clause in  the  Agreement  to
              Lease stood superseded by the express terms of the Lease
              Deed dated 26.05.2004. In this context, he  relied  upon
              Provash Chandra  Dalui  vs.  Biswanath  Banerjee[5]  and
              State of U.P. vs. Lalji Tandon.[6]
          34.  Further according to Mr.  Nariman,  the  terms  of  the
              Agreement to Lease cannot be relied upon when a specific
              provision has been provided in the  Lease  Deed  itself,
              which provides for extension of the lease. Clause (1) of
              the Lease enables the IDA to extend the lease for  which
              neither  the  renewal  nor  permission  of   the   State
              Government is necessary.


          35. The argument of the Respondents that  the  Agreement  of
              the MPRTC with the Appellant  has  been  frustrated  was
              sought to be countered by Mr. Nariman. It was  submitted
              that self induced  frustration  cannot  be  a  basis  to
              frustrate a valid agreement. In  this  context,  it  was
              contended that the submission of  the  Respondents  that
              MPRTC is being  wound  up  is  not  tenable  since  such
              winding up is the result of an act of the Party  itself.
              Reliance placed upon   Boothlinga  Agencies  vs.  V.T.C.
              Poriaswami Nadar[7], wherein it was inter alia held that
              “the doctrine of frustration of  contract  cannot  apply
              where the event which is alleged to have frustrated  the
              contract arises from the act or election of a party.” It
              was also contended that commercial exigencies can  never
              lead to frustration. Reliance was  placed  upon  Pollock
              and Mulla, 14th Ed. Pgs. 887-889.


          36. Mr. Nariman also submitted that the  submission  of  the
              IDA that the Appellant has no privity of  contract  with
              the Petitioner is not correct. Further,  the  submission
              of the IDA that the Agreement to Lease was  only  for  a
              bus stand and no permission was granted by  the  IDA  to
              MPRTC for constructing a  commercial  project  has  been
              submitted  to  be  incorrect  by  Mr.  Nariman.  Another
              factual submission advanced by the Appellant is that the
              submission of the Respondents that MPRTC is being  wound
              up is not correct.


          37. Lastly, Mr. Nariman contended that  on  the  balance  of
              equity, the MPRTC ought to be directed  to  comply  with
              the directions of the  High  Court  contained  in  order
              dated 05.08.2005, and put the Appellant in possession of
              the plot.


          38. Mr. J.P. Cama, learned senior counsel appearing for  the
              5th  Respondent  -  Indore  Development  Authority   has
              submitted that by an agreement dated 2nd November, 1981,
              IDA entered into a lease in respect of 10 acres  of  his
              property situated in its Scheme  No.  54  at  Indore  in
              favour of MPRTC.  Possession of the land was handed over
              on 22nd January, 1982.  The  first  installment  of  the
              premium   and   leased    rent    was    deposited    on
                 3rd October, 1980.  The lease was to be for a  period
              of   30 years subject to  renewal.   The  lease  was  to
              subsist in the first instance upto  21st  January,  2012
              but was terminated on 2nd July, 2007, i.e.,  before  the
              expiry of the period  of  30  years  from  the  date  of
              possession.  MPRTC had challenged the aforesaid decision
              in Writ Petition No. 6770 of 2007.  Since the  appellant
              had no privity of contract with IDA, it could  not  have
              challenged the termination of the  lease  on  2nd  July,
              2007 and did not do so.  Since the dispute  was  between
              two Government organizations,  the  High  Court  rightly
              remitted the matter to the Chief Secretary of the  State
              of Madhya Pradesh  for  resolution.   Even  though,  the
              appellant was not a party to the aforesaid writ petition
              filed by MPRTC, it had  submitted  a  representation  on
              22nd February, 2009.  The directions issued by the Chief
              Secretary were challenged in Writ Petition No.  2937  of
              2009 in which the impugned  judgment  has  been  passed.
              The submissions of                  Mr.  Cama  in  brief
              are:-
                 (i)   That there was no privity of  contract  between
                       IDA and Sri Ram Builders, i.e., the  appellant.
                       Therefore, the High court has  rightly  granted
                       liberty to the appellant to file a Civil  Suit,
                       if so advised.


                 (ii)  The cancellation of the lease by IDA has become
                       final.  This has not  been  challenged  by  the
                       appellant.   Therefore,  no  Mandamus  can   be
                       issued to  IDA,  to  permit  the  appellant  to
                       construct the  Bus  Stand  and  commercial-cum-
                       residential   complex.    Mr.   Cama    further
                       submitted    that    the    lease     commences
                        from 22nd January, 1982  when  possession  was
                       handed over and expired on 21st  January,  2012
                       upon completion  of  30  years  period  of  the
                       lease.  It is further submitted that MPRTC  can
                       not claim automatic renewal of the  lease.   It
                       would be subject to the consent of IDA and  the
                       State  Government.   No  application  had  been
                       filed for such extension.  In  any  event,  the
                       lease has come to an end by the efflux of time.
                        Mr. Cama further submitted that IDA had  given
                       a lease in favour of  MPRTC.   Under  the  said
                       lease, MPRTC had no authority to create further
                       third party rights.  Wrongly, according to  Mr.
                       Cama,  MPRTC  under  the  tender  conditions  /
                       contract entered into with  the  appellant  had
                       given it the right to sell proposed  commercial
                       premises,  and  to  collect  premium  on   such
                       allotment from prospective buyers.   The  MPRTC
                       had only been given NOC for completing the  bus
                       stand   and   the    commercial-cum-residential
                       complex on B.O.T. basis.  MPRTC  had  no  legal
                       right,  being  a  sub-lessee  higher  than  the
                       lessee.  The next submission  of  Mr.  Cama  is
                       that  MPRTC  has  completely   wound   up   its
                       operations; they have  sold  all  their  buses.
                       Therefore, it can not be compelled to  get  the
                       bus  stand  constructed  from  the   appellant.
                       Countering  the  submission   of            Mr.
                       Nariman and Mr. Patwalia, he submits  that  the
                       order       of       the       High       Court
                       dated 5th August, 2005 directing MPRTC to  hand
                       over the possession to the appellant can not be
                       relied upon by the appellant,  the  said  order
                       has not become final inasmuch as:-
                       (i)    IDA  was  not  a  party  in   the   said
                            proceedings;
                       (ii)  The HC had  not  decided  the  matter  in
                            relating to lease of the IDA
                       (iii) State Govt had filed recall application –
                            which was pending disposal before HC
                       (iv)  Even MPRTC  filed  a  recall  application
                            wherein they pleaded that the entire order
                            was based on the statement made  by  their
                            counsel that they are not in a position to
                            pay Sri Ram builders, however they made  a
                            statement, in recall application that they
                            are now willing to repay Sri Ram and hence
                            prayed for recall of order dated. 5.8.05 –
                            which was also pending;
                       (v)   Where SLP  is  dismissed  without  giving
                            reasons,  there  is  no  merger   of   the
                            judgment of the HC with the order  of  SC.
                            Hence judgment of HC can be reviewed, even
                            after  dismissal  of  SLP.  Reliance   was
                            placed  upon  Gangadhara  Palo   vs.   The
                            Revenue Divisional Officer  &  Anr.  [2011
                            (4) SCC 602]


          39. It is submitted that construction  of  bus  terminal  on
              B.O.T. basis was a commercial transaction between  MPRTC
              and the appellant.  Even  if  the  cancellation  is  not
              legal, this Court will not interfere in this decision as
              it was purely contractual in nature.  He relies  on  the
              judgments of this Court in the case of Rajasthan Housing
              Board  &  Anr.  vs.  G.S.  Investments  &  Anr.[8]   and
              Ramchandra  Murarilal  Bhattad  &  Ors.  vs.  State   of
              Maharashtra & Ors.[9]


          40. It is submitted that the arguments of the appellant that
              the lease, which was granted in the first  instance  for
              30 years was intended to continue (automatically) for  a
              further period of 30 years in terms of clause 1  of  the
              aforesaid lease deed is untenable.  Even  otherwise  the
              submission can  not  be  considered  as  there  were  no
              pleadings to this effect either in the original petition
              or in the grounds of SLP.  In any  event,  according  to
              the respondents, the initial period of the lease was for
                       30 years. Furthermore, Paragraph/Clause 5(E) of
              the  agreement  to  lease  makes  it  clear  that  after
              termination of the lease  period,  it  can  be  extended
              after renewal; that too only with the consent  of  MPRTC
              and IDA and further  obtaining  sanction  of  the  State
              Government.  According to Mr. Cama, two short  questions
              would arise namely:-
                 (i)   From what date, the period of 30 years is to be
                       counted?
                 (ii)  Whether there  is  an  automatic  extension  of
                       lease?


          41. It is according to Mr. Cama,  admittedly  possession  of
              the property was given to MPRTC on 21st  January,  1982.
              This premium, as well as the first lease rent  had  been
              deposited on 3rd October, 1980.  It is also an  admitted
              position that the lease rent for the  entire  period  of
              1982 onwards has in fact been paid by deposit of premium
              plus 15 years lease rent.  It is reiterated by  Mr. Cama
              that admitted date of actual possession by the lesser is
              22nd January, 1982.   Therefore,  the  first  period  of
              lease expired by efflux of time on 21st  January,  2012.
              With regard to the renewal of the lease, it is submitted
              that even such renewal is on specific  sanction  of  the
              IDA and the  State  Government.   He  submits  that  the
              concept of extension of  the  lease  is  distinguishable
              from  the  concept  of  renewal.   In  support  of  this
              submission, Mr. Cama relies on Hardesh Ores (P) Ltd. Vs.
              Hede and Company[10] (Pages 627 &  628).   He  submitted
              that the agreement of lease used  both  words  extension
              and renewal but extension  is  always  made  subject  to
              renewal.  Mr. Cama further pointed out that Order  dated
                          5th August, 2005 has not  become  final  and
              binding on all parties on the dismissal of the SLP filed
              by the  MPRTC.   The  aforesaid  SLP  was  dismissed  in
              limine.  Therefore, the judgment of the High  Court  can
              not be said to have merged with the order of this Court.
               In support  of  the  submission,  Mr.  Cama  relies  on
              Kunhayammed & Ors. vs. State of Kerala  &  Anr.[11]  and
              Gangadhara  Palo  vs.  Revenue  Divisional   Officer   &
              Anr.[12]


          42. With regard to the  submission  relating  to  the  order
              passed by the Chief Secretary, Mr. Cama submits that the
              appellant has to either accept or challenge the order in
              toto.   If  the  complete   order   is   accepted,   the
              termination of the lease  is  set  aside,  the  property
              would return to IDA with compensation to the  appellant.
              In the event, the order is  completely  set  aside,  the
              termination of  the  lease  remains  in  force  and  the
              property returns to the IDA.  In either case,  the  land
              returns to the IDA.  Mr. Cama  submits  that  the  order
              passed by the Chief Secretary is a  comprehensive  order
              and can not be permitted to be challenged in a truncated
              manner.


          43. We have considered the submissions made by  the  learned
              counsel for the parties.


          44. Before we proceed to examine the submission made by  Mr.
              Nariman, it would be appropriate to cull  out  the  bare
              essential facts for the determination of the controversy
              herein. A  lease  deed  dated  2nd  November,  1981  was
              entered into between MPRTC and IDA.  The  possession  of
              the land was handed over to MPRTC on 22nd January, 1982.
              Initially, the lease was taken  by  the  MPRTC  for  the
              purpose of  a  bus  stand.  It  appears  that  no  final
              decision was taken till  8th  November,  2001  when  the
              Council of Ministers of the State Government  authorized
              the construction of a commercial  complex  on  the  land
              under  BOT  Scheme.  A  tender  notice  was  issued   on
              13th April, 2002. On 7th July,  2003,  the  bid  of  the
              appellant was found to be the  highest.  The  amount  as
              mentioned in Para  6  earlier,  was  duly  paid  by  the
              appellant. A separate agreement was entered into between
              MPRTC and the appellant on 4th February, 2004 which read
              alongwith the tender document provided as under:
                 “The successful promoters/builders will have the  right  to
                 market  the  saleable  space  made  available  to  him   on
                 different floors in the commercial complex, collect premium
                 on such allotment from prospective buyers.”


          45.  On 25th May, 2004, MPRTC  deposited  the  lease  rental
              with IDA. A formal lease was executed on            26th
              May,  2004.  As  noticed  earlier,  the  lease  was  for
              30 years. The leased land (plot) was to be used only for
              the bus terminal. It was specifically provided that  the
              plot cannot be divided. The possession of the  plot  had
              been received on 22nd  January,  1982.  The  lease  also
              provided that the Rules published in the gazette on 16th
              December, 1977 shall be binding on the lessee.  Rule  40
              of the aforesaid Niyam/Rules read as under :
                 “The lessee may take possession of the  plot  on  the  date
                 fixed or notified to him for taking over possession of  the
                 plot and the lease of the plot shall commence from the date
                 irrespective of the fact  “whatsoever,  possession  of  the
                 plot has been taken or not and the  lessee  shall  pay  all
                 rates and taxes where leviable the owner or the lessee from
                 the date.”


          46. On 24th June, 2004, IDA gave its no  objection  for  bus
              terminal-cum-commercial complex to be constructed  under
              the BOT  Scheme.  On  18th  December,  2005,  the  State
              Government decided to wind up the MPRTC. The proposal of
              the State Government was not approved by the Ministry of
              Shipping and Road Transport,  Government  of  India.  On
              17th November, 2008, a letter was issued  informing  the
              State  Government  that  the  Ministry  of  Labour   had
              declined to grant permission for closure  under  Section
              25-O of  the  Industrial  Disputes  Act,  1947.  On  5th
              August, 2005, the directions were  issued  by  the  High
              Court in the writ petition filed by the  appellant.  SLP
              filed against these directions  was  dismissed  by  this
              Court on 7th October, 2005.  In  the  contempt  petition
              filed  by  the  appellant  for  non  compliance  of  the
              directions of the High Court  dated         5th  August,
              2005,  MPRTC  was  restrained  from  handing  over   the
              possession of the property  or  to  create  third  party
              interest/rights. On 2nd November, 2007,  the  lease  was
              cancelled by IDA on the ground that MPRTC  had  violated
              the prescribed conditions by handing over the possession
              to RTO. As noticed  earlier,  the  cancellation  of  the
              lease  was  challenged  by  MPRTC,  by  way  of  a  writ
              petition, which was disposed of by  the  High  Court  on
              11th December, 2007 by referring the entire issue to the
              Chief Secretary. The appellant  did  not  challenge  the
              order dated 2nd November,  2007  but  submitted  to  the
              jurisdiction  of  the  Chief  Secretary  by   filing   a
              comprehensive representation. Even in the writ  petition
              in  which  the  impugned  order  had  been  passed,  the
              appellant had only challenged Clauses III, IV and  V  of
              the order of the Chief Secretary.


          47.    We   shall   now   consider   the    submission    of
              Mr.   Nariman,   seriatim.   Can   the    order    dated
                  5th August,  2005  be  implemented  and  should  the
              appellant be permitted to go ahead with the construction
              of commercial complex-cum-bus  stand.  Undoubtedly,  the
              SLP   filed   by   MPRTC   against   the   order   dated
                  5th August, 2005 in Writ Petition No.363 of 2005 has
              been dismissed by this Court, but it was a dismissal  in
              limine without  recording  any  reason.  Therefore,  the
              judgment of the High Court cannot be said to have merged
              with the order of this Court.  In  Kunhayammed  (supra),
              this Court considered the effect of the dismissal of the
              SLP in limine. This Court reiterated the ratio laid down
              by this Court in Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.  vs.  State
              of Bihar & Ors.[13] which considered the impact  of  the
              order dismissing the SLP with the following expression:
                        “The special leave petition is dismissed.”


                 Considering the aforesaid  order  of  this  Court  in
           Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (supra), it has  been  observed
           as follows:
                 “The effect of a  non-speaking  order  of  dismissal  of  a
                 special leave petition without anything more indicating the
                 grounds or reasons of  its  dismissal  must,  by  necessary
                 implication, be taken to be that  this  Court  had  decided
                 only that it was not a fit case where special leave  should
                 be granted. This conclusion may have been reached  by  this
                 Court due to several reasons. When the order passed by this
                 Court was not a speaking one, it is not correct  to  assume
                 that this Court had necessarily decided implicitly all  the
                 questions in relation to the merits of the award, which was
                 under challenge before this  Court  in  the  special  leave
                 petition. A writ  proceeding  is  a  wholly  different  and
                 distinct proceeding. Questions which can be  said  to  have
                 been decided by this Court expressly,  implicitly  or  even
                 constructively while dismissing the special leave  petition
                 cannot,  of  course,  be  reopened  in  a  subsequent  writ
                 proceeding before  the  High  Court.  But  neither  on  the
                 principle of res judicata nor on any  principle  of  public
                 policy analogous thereto, would the  order  of  this  Court
                 dismissing the special leave petition operate  to  bar  the
                 trial of identical issues in a separate proceeding  namely,
                 the writ proceeding before the High  Court  merely  on  the
                 basis of an uncertain assumption that the issues must  have
                 been decided by this Court at least by implication.  It  is
                 not correct or safe to extend the principle of res judicata
                 or constructive res judicata to such an  extent  so  as  to
                 found it on mere guesswork.

          48. In reiterating the aforesaid observation, this Court  in
              Kunhayammed (supra) observed as follows:
                 “27. A petition for leave to appeal to this  Court  may  be
                 dismissed by a non-speaking order or by a  speaking  order.
                 Whatever be  the  phraseology  employed  in  the  order  of
                 dismissal, if it is a non-speaking order, i.e., it does not
                 assign reasons for dismissing the special  leave  petition,
                 it would neither attract the doctrine of merger  so  as  to
                 stand substituted in place of the order put in issue before
                 it nor would it be a declaration  of  law  by  the  Supreme
                 Court under Article 141 of the Constitution for there is no
                 law which has been declared.”




          49. The aforesaid ratio in Kunhayamed (supra) is  reiterated
              by this Court in Gangadhara Palo (supra):
                 “7. The situation is  totally  different  where  a  special
                 leave petition is  dismissed  without  giving  any  reasons
                 whatsoever. It is well settled  that  special  leave  under
                 Article 136 of the Constitution of India is a discretionary
                 remedy, and hence a special leave petition can be dismissed
                 for a variety of reasons and not necessarily on merits.  We
                 cannot say  what  was  in  the  mind  of  the  Court  while
                 dismissing the special leave petition  without  giving  any
                 reasons. Hence, when a special leave petition is  dismissed
                 without giving any reasons,  there  is  no  merger  of  the
                 judgment of the High Court with the order of this Court.”

          50. Even though the order of the High Court had  not  merged
              with the order passed by this Court  in  dismissing  the
              SLP, can the appellant be deprived of the benefit of the
              order passed by the High Court on 5th August, 2005?  Mr.
              Nariman has submitted that the order passed by the Chief
              Secretary  on  11th  December,  2007  even   though   on
              directions issued by the High  Court  in  Writ  Petition
              No.6770 of 2007 cannot nullify the directions  given  by
              the High Court earlier. The order passed  by  the  Chief
              Secretary in its  executive  capacity  cannot  have  the
              effect of nullifying the order passed by the High  Court
              on          5th  August,  2005.  On  first  blush,   the
              submission  made  by  Mr.  Nariman  seems  to  be   very
              attractive, but factually it has to be noticed that much
              more water has flown under the bridge since the  passing
              of the order dated       5th August, 2005. Subsequently,
              the lease to MPRTC was cancelled on 2nd  November,  2007
              by the IDA. The appellant did not  challenge  the  order
              dated                    2nd November,  2007  passed  by
              the IDA. The aforesaid order was challenged by MPRTC  in
              Writ Petition No.6770 of 2007. On 11th  December,  2007,
              the High Court without issuing notice to the  appellant,
              who was impleaded as respondent No.3,  disposed  of  the
              writ  petition.  The  High  Court   noticed   that   two
              instrumentalities of the  State  have  chosen  to  bring
              their disputes in open court. In such circumstances, the
              High Court was of the opinion that  the  entire  dispute
              ought to be decided by the Chief Secretary of the  State
              of  Madhya  Pradesh  by  holding  meetings  between  the
              Principal  Secretary  of   the   Transport   Department,
              Principal  Secretaries  of   Housing   and   Environment
              Department and the Managing Director of the  MPRTC.  The
              appellant accepted the aforesaid  order  passed  by  the
              High  Court  and  submitted  a  detailed  representation
              before the Chief Secretary on 20th February,  2009.  The
              Chief Secretary in the meeting held on 4th  March,  2009
              took a comprehensive decision on all the issues involved
              in writ petition with regard to the cancellation of  the
              lease  deed  in  favour  of  MPRTC  by  IDA.  The  Chief
              Secretary revoked the order dated 2nd November, 2007 and
              notice dated     30th June, 2007 cancelling the lease of
              land in question granted to the MPRTC by  IDA.  RTO  was
              directed to release the leased land from attachment.  It
              is noteworthy that  the  appellant  has  not  chosen  to
              challenge the  aforesaid  two  directions.  However,  as
              noticed earlier, the appellant challenged the directions
              issued in Clauses III, IV and V in Writ Petition No.2937
              of 2009 in the High Court of  Madhya  Pradesh.  It  was,
              inter  alia,  contended  that  the  directions  in   the
              aforesaid clauses were in violation of the  order  dated
              5th August, 2005. It is noteworthy  that  even  in  this
              writ petition, challenging the direction  Nos.  III,  IV
              and V issued by the Chief Secretary, the  appellant  had
              not challenged the competence of the Chief Secretary  to
              decide the issues. The appellant cannot now be permitted
              to state  that  the  aforesaid  directions  are  without
              jurisdiction. Under the orders of  the  Chief  Secretary
              dated 4th March, 2009, the possession of  the  land  has
              already been delivered to IDA. Therefore, it  would  not
              be possible at this stage to direct  that  the  mandamus
              granted on 4th August, 2005 in Writ Petition  No.636  of
              2005 shall be enforced.

          51. In the ultimate analysis, the  whole  controversy  boils
              down to a breach of contract by MPRTC entered into  with
              the appellant. The scope  of  judicial  review  is  very
              limited in contractual matters even  where  one  of  the
              contracting parties is the State or  an  instrumentality
              of the State.  The  parameters  within  which  power  of
              judicial   review   can   be   exercised,    has    been
              authoritatively laid down by this Court in a  number  of
              cases.
                 In Tata Cellular vs. Union of India,[14]  this  court
           upon detailed consideration of the parameters within  which
           judicial review could be  exercised,  has  culled  out  the
           following principles:
                 “70. It cannot be denied that the  principles  of  judicial
                 review would apply to the exercise of contractual powers by
                 government bodies in  order  to  prevent  arbitrariness  or
                 favouritism. However, it must be clearly stated that  there
                 are inherent limitations  in  exercise  of  that  power  of
                 judicial review. The Government  is  the  guardian  of  the
                 finances of the  State.  It  is  expected  to  protect  the
                 financial interest of the State. The right  to  refuse  the
                 lowest or any other  tender  is  always  available  to  the
                 Government. But, the principles laid down in Article 14  of
                 the Constitution have to be kept in view while accepting or
                 refusing a tender. There can be no question of infringement
                 of Article 14 if the  Government  tries  to  get  the  best
                 person or the best quotation. The right to choose cannot be
                 considered to be an arbitrary power. Of course, if the said
                 power is exercised for any collateral purpose the  exercise
                 of that power will be struck down.


                                       *     *     *


                 77. The duty of the court  is  to  confine  itself  to  the
                 question of legality. Its concern should be:
                 (1)  Whether  a  decision-making  authority  exceeded   its
                 powers?
                 (2) committed an error of law,
                 (3) committed a breach of the rules of natural justice,
                 (4) reached a decision which no reasonable  tribunal  would
                 have reached, or
                 (5) abused its powers.
                 Therefore, it is not for the court to determine  whether  a
                 particular policy  or  particular  decision  taken  in  the
                 fulfilment of that policy is fair.  It  is  only  concerned
                 with the manner in which those decisions have  been  taken.
                 The extent of the duty to act fairly will vary from case to
                 case. Shortly put, the grounds upon which an administrative
                 action is subject to control  by  judicial  review  can  be
                 classified as under:
                 (i)  Illegality:  This  means   the   decision-maker   must
                 understand correctly the law that regulates  his  decision-
                 making power and must give effect to it.
                 (ii) Irrationality, namely, Wednesbury unreasonableness.
                 (iii) Procedural impropriety.
                 The above are only the broad grounds but it does  not  rule
                 out addition of further grounds in course of time.”




          52. In our opinion, the case put forward  by  the  appellant
              would not be covered by the aforesaid ratio of law  laid
              down by this Court. The High Court, in our opinion,  has
              rightly  observed  that  the  appellant  can  seek   the
              appropriate relief by way of  a  civil  suit.  The  High
              Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article  226
              of the Constitution of India would  not  normally  grant
              the relief of specific performance of a  contract.  This
              view is supported by Ramchandra  Murarilal  Bhattad  vs.
              State of Maharashtra.[15] This Court  relying  upon  the
              earlier decision in Noble Resources Limited vs. State of
              Orissa[16] held as under:


                 “50. …this Court would not enforce specific performance  of
                 contract where damages would be  adequate  remedy.  It  was
                 also held that conduct of the parties would  also  play  an
                 important role.
                 51. The expansive role of courts in exercising its power of
                 judicial  review  is  not  in  dispute.  But  as  indicated
                 hereinbefore, each case must be decided on its own facts.”


          53.   At no stage, the appellant had any privity of contract
              with IDA. MPRTC entered into a  BOT  contract  with  the
              appellant contrary to the terms and  conditions  of  the
              lease which provided specifically that the land shall be
              used  for  constructing  a  bus   stand–cum   commercial
              complex. MPRTC had no legal right to create any  further
              right in favour of the  appellant  with  regard  to  the
              receiving of the premium on the constructed  units  sold
              to third party(ies). Even otherwise, the appellant seems
              to be flogging a dead horse. Admittedly, the  possession
              of the proposed site was  delivered  to  MPRTC  on  22nd
              January, 1982. The  maximum  lease  period  was  for  30
              years. By efflux of  time  the  aforesaid  lease  period
              expired on 21st January, 2012.  We  do  not  accept  the
              submission of Mr. Nariman that as the  entire  rent  had
              been paid, MPRTC would be entitled to automatic  renewal
              of the lease for 90 years. The  renewal  clause  in  the
              lease subsequently provides that the  renewal  shall  be
              with the consent of IDA. This consent by the IDA is  not
              a mere formality.  We are, therefore,  not  inclined  to
              accept the submission of Mr. Nariman that  the  term  of
              the lease has to be understood to  have  commenced  from
              26.05.2004.
          54. This apart, there is much substance in the submission of
              Mr. Cama that no application has  been  filed  even  for
              this formal renewal by MPRTC. In any event, MPRTC  would
              not be in a position to continue with the lease as it is
              heavily indebted presently, to  the  tune  of  Rs.  3500
              crores.  The  property  of  the  corporation  has   been
              attached by the various  creditors.  Even  the  proposed
              site where the bus stand – cum – commercial complex  was
              to be constructed is under attachment. The claim made by
              the appellant is in the nature of damages for breach  of
              contract and/or the relief of  specific  performance  of
              contract. So far as the breach of contract is concerned,
              the appellant will have no cause of action  against  IDA
              as    there    is     no     privity     of     contract
              between the parties. So far as the specific  performance
              is concerned, it appears that the entire purpose of  the
              contract has been frustrated by subsequent events.


          55. We are also not much impressed by the submission of  Mr.
              Nariman that  the  doctrine  of  frustration  cannot  be
              applied here since it is a “self  induced  frustration”.
              In the case of Boothalinga Agencies (supra), this  Court
              upon comparing and contrasting the English Law  and  the
              statement of Indian Law contained in Section 56  of  the
              Indian Contract Act summed up the  legal  position  with
              regard to frustration of contract as follows:-
                 “The doctrine of  frustration  of  contract  is  really  an
                 aspect or part of the  law  of  discharge  of  contract  by
                 reason of supervening impossibility or  illegality  of  the
                 act agreed to be done and hence comes within the purview of
                 Section 56 of the Indian Contract Act. It should be noticed
                 that Section 56 lays down a rule of positive law  and  does
                 not leave the matter to  be  determined  according  to  the
                 intention of the parties.


                 In English law therefore the  question  of  frustration  of
                 contract has been  treated  by  courts  as  a  question  of
                 construction depending  upon  the  true  intention  of  the
                 parties. In contrast, the statutory provisions contained in
                 Section 56 of the Indian Contract Act lay down  a  positive
                 rule of law and English authorities cannot therefore be  of
                 direct assistance, though they  have  persuasive  value  in
                              showing how English courts have approached and
                 decided cases under similar circumstances.”




                 We fail to see how the aforesaid observations are  of
           any relevance in the facts and circumstances of this case.
          56.   We  are  also  unable  to  accept  the  submission  of
                   Mr. Nariman that the Doctrine of Frustration  would
              not apply in the facts of this case  as  it  is  a  self
              induced frustration.  The aforesaid expression seems  to
              have been borrowed from certain observations made by the
              Judicial Committee in  the  case  of  Maritime  National
              Fish, Limited  vs.  Ocean  Trawlers,  Limited[17].   The
              facts of that case, as narrated in Boothalinga  Agencies
              (supra),  would  indicate  that  in   that   case,   the
              respondents chartered to the appellants a steam  trawler
              fitted with an otter trawl. Both the parties knew at the
              time of the contract that it was illegal to use an otter
              trawl without a licence from  the  Canadian  government.
              Some months later the appellants  applied  for  licences
              for five trawlers which they were  operating,  including
              the respondent’s trawler. They were informed  that  only
              three licences would be granted, and were  requested  to
              state for which of the three trawlers they would like to
              have the licences. They named three trawlers other  than
              the respondent’s trawler, and  then  claimed  that  they
              would not be bound by the trawler of the  respondent  as
              it was frustrated. It was held by the Judicial Committee
              that the failure of the contract was the result  of  the
              appellant’s own election, and, therefore, no frustration
              of the contract.
          57. This Court  distinguished  the  aforesaid  judgment  and
              observed as follows:-
                 “We think the principle of this case applies to the  Indian
                 law and the provisions of Section 56 of the Indian Contract
                 Act cannot apply to a case of  “self-induced  frustration”.
                 In other words, the doctrine  of  frustration  of  contract
                 cannot apply where the  event  which  is  alleged  to  have
                 frustrated the contract arises from the act or election  of
                 a party. “


          58. In our opinion, these observations are of no  assistance
              to the appellant as in this case, the lease has come  to
              an end by efflux of time.  This apart, MPRTC is  heavily
              indebted and had sought permission of the State and  the
              Union of India to wind up. Furthermore, there was also a
              breach of the terms and conditions of the lease  on  the
              basis of which it has been terminated in accordance with
              law.


          59. In any event,  these  are  issues  which  would  involve
              adjudication of disputed questions  of  fact  which  can
              only be  suitably  adjudicated  in  the  civil  suit  as
              directed by the High Court in the impugned judgment. The
              appellant shall be  at  liberty  to  seek  its  remedies
              against MPRTC for breach of  contract.   Our  conclusion
              that  the  High  Court  was  right  in   rejecting   the
              contentions of the Appellant herein is also supported by
              the law  laid  in  Rajasthan  Housing   Board  vs.  G.S.
              Investments (supra) which was relied upon by  Mr.  Cama.
              We may notice here the following excerpt:


                 “..the Court should exercise its discretionary power  under
                 Article 226 of the Constitution with great care and caution
                 and should  exercise  it  only  in  furtherance  of  public
                 interest. The Court should always keep  the  larger  public
                 interest in mind in  order  to  decide  whether  it  should
                 interfere with the decision of the authority.”


          60. Also, we are not much impressed by the submission of Mr.
              Nariman that the order passed by the High Court on  11th
              December, 2007 has been challenged by the companion  SLP
              (C) No 36887 of 2012. The aforesaid SLP has  been  filed
              merely to get over the earlier lapse of not  challenging
              the order of the High Court  at  the  appropriate  time.
              Having  submitted  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Chief
              Secretary, it would not be  open  to  the  appellant  to
              challenge the order dated 11th December, 2007.


           61.   For the aforesaid reasons, we see  no  merit  in  the
           appeals.  The civil appeals are, therefore, dismissed.

                                                             ……………………………….J.
                                                     [Surinder Singh Nijjar]






                                                            ………………………………..J.
                                                [A.K.Sikri]
           New Delhi;
           April 25, 2014.
-----------------------
[1]    (2010) 8 SCC 383

[2]    (1973) 2 SCC 825

[3]    (1963) Supp (2) SCR 417

[4]    (1960) 3 SCR 604

[5]    (1989) Supp (1) SCC 487(Para14)

[6]    (2004) 1 SCC 1 (Para 13).


[7]    (1969) 1 SCR 65, at Page79

[8]    (2007) 1 SCC 477

[9]    (2007) 2 SCC 588

[10]   (2007) 5 SCC 614

[11]   (2000) 6 SCC 359

[12]   (2011) 4 SCC 602(Para 7)

[13]   (1986) 4 SCC 146

[14]    (1994) 6 SCC 651

[15]   (2007) 2 SCC 588

[16]   (2006) 10 SCC 236

[17]   (1935) A.C. 524



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