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Friday, May 13, 2016

In absence of work order, no one can compel to accept the supplies delivered for price = No communication has been placed on record between 31.3.2008 and 22.5.2008 asking printers to print and supply the booklets. No right could be said to have accrued on the basis of palpably illegal communication dated 22.5.2008.= The Division Bench of the High Court in the circumstances of the case has erred in directing that the booklets printed till 22.5.2008 be accepted. Booklets printed after 31.3.2008 were without any work order in existence. The communication dated 25.2.2008 did not confer on them a right to print books after 31.3.2008. Whatever booklets they had supplied till 31.3.2008 were accepted. Thus, the High Court has erred in the facts of the case to interfere in contractual matter and by granting the relief. However, we observe that in case payment has not been made to the printers for booklets which were supplied till 31.3.2008, it shall be made forthwith.


                                                                  Reportable

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4817 OF 2016
                  [Arising out of SLP [C] No.32730 of 2013]



State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.               … Appellants
Vs.
M/s. Ruchi Printers                          … Respondent(s)
[With C.A. No. 4818 of 2016 @ SLP [C] No.36095/2013; and
C.A. No. 4819 of 2016 @ SLP [C] No.36096/2013]



                               J U D G M E N T



ARUN MISHRA, J.

1.    Leave granted.

2.    The State has preferred the appeal as against the judgment  and  order
passed by the High Court of M.P. in the writ appeal and the  writ  petitions
decided by a common order dated 4.9.2012  dismissing  the  writ  appeal  and
allowing the petitions, thereby directing the  State  Government  to  accept
all materials which was ready for delivery on 22.5.2008 and  quashing  order
dated  30.1.2009  cancelling  the  communication  dated  22.5.2008.  Further
direction has been issued to make payment to the printers as per  the  terms
and  conditions  of  the  order  dated  16.1.2008  read  with  order   dated
25.2.2008.
3.    Facts in short referred to from SLP [C] No.32730/2013 – State of  M.P.
& Ors. v. M/s. Ruchi Printers indicate that the  State  Printing  &  Writing
Articles Department  of  Madhya  Pradesh  through  its  Controller,  invited
quotations vide letter dated  2.1.2008  for  printing  Bhu-Adhikar  and  Rin
Pustikas. On 16.1.2008 printing order was placed with  M/s.  Ruchi  Printers
for supply of 37,07,726 copies of Bhu-Adhikar  and  Rin  Pustika.  At  least
half of the booklets were to be supplied in the first lot till 8.2.2008  and
the rest were to be supplied  before  25.2.2008.  On  25.2.2008  the  Deputy
Controller wrote a letter on behalf of the Controller  while  approving  the
modified booklet. The  printers  were  asked  to  ensure  the  supply  after
printing the allotted work. On 28.3.2008 another  letter  was  written  that
the time limit fixed was already over so rest of the work may  be  completed
till 31.3.2008. After 31.3.2008 no booklets shall be accepted. The  decision
dated 28.3.2008 was questioned by filing writ petitions. Said writ  petition
filed by M/s. Ruchi Printers had been allowed by Single  Bench  vide  common
judgment and order dated  6.11.2008.   State  was  directed  to  accept  the
supply of 10.75 lakhs of Rin Pustikas from M/s. Ruchi Printers and  to  make
payment in accordance with the terms and  conditions  of  the  contract.  In
another W.P. No.10319/2008 decided by same order,  the  single  Bench  asked
the petitioner to approach  the  State  Government  and  the  Government  to
consider the claim in respect of  the  materials  already  supplied  and  to
settle the claim if not already settled. No other relief was given.
4.    Aggrieved by the order passed in the case  of  Ruchi  Printers,  State
preferred a writ appeal which was heard and decided with writ  petitions  by
impugned common order.
5.    It was submitted on behalf of learned counsel appearing on  behalf  of
the State that the High  Court  has  erred  in  law  in  allowing  the  writ
petitions and  dismissing  the  writ  appeal.  As  per  the  initial  order,
booklets were required to be supplied by 25.2.2008.   Time  was  essence  of
contract. Though time  was  extended  but  it  was  made  clear  that  after
31.3.2008 no such booklets will be accepted, later on its  format  had  been
changed for the subsequent year as such they were of no use  to  the  State.
The payment was required to be made only on account of booklets  which  were
supplied till 31.3.2008. Letter dated 22.5.2008 was cancelled by  the  State
Government on 30.1.2009 and supply after 31.3.2008 had not been accepted  as
it was of no use due to change of format. The writ  petition  could  not  be
said to be an appropriate remedy for claiming the amount  in  case  of  non-
statutory contract.  The  High  Court  has  erred  in  directing  the  State
Government to accept the booklets printed till 22.5.2008.
6.    Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents  has  supported
the impugned judgment and orders passed by the High Court and has  submitted
that in the writ petition filed by Ruchi Printers, order had been passed  by
Single Bench on 6.11.2008 to make payment within three  months  as  per  the
communication dated 22.5.2008. Thus there was  no  justification  to  recall
the communication dated 22.5.2008 by issuance of letter dated 30.1.2009.  As
the booklets had been printed the High Court had rightly directed to  accept
the supply. Thus no case for interference is made out.
7.    After hearing learned counsel for the parties, we are of  the  opinion
that the order for printing booklets was placed with printers on  16.1.2008.
The booklets were to be supplied on  time  bound  basis  by  25.2.2008.  The
respondents were well aware that the time was the essence  of  the  contract
and there was requirement of these booklets  on  time  bound  basis.  Though
communication  dated  25.2.2008  approving  format  was   issued   but   the
respondents very well knew that the time was the  essence  of  contract  and
the printing of booklets was to be completed at  the  earliest.  However  as
supplies  were  not  made  as  stipulated,  even  within  one  month   after
25.2.2008,  another  communication  dated  28.3.2008  was  issued   by   the
Controller to supply  Rin  Pustikas  before  31.3.2008.  In  case  any  work
remains incomplete, the  work  order  be  treated  as  cancelled.  Thus,  in
unequivocal terms, it was made clear that no booklets were  to  be  received
after 31.3.2008 and whatever booklets were ready they were  to  be  supplied
by 31.3.2008. Thus, in our  opinion,  there  was  no  rhyme  or  reason  for
printers to print any booklets after cancellation of order w.e.f.  31.3.2008
till  22.5.2008.   Printing  of  booklets   after   31.3.2008   was   wholly
unauthorized.  No doubt about it that on 22.5.2008 the Under  Secretary  had
issued a communication that certain specified  number  of  booklets  may  be
accepted. However, the said communication had been  recalled  on  30.1.2009.
The High Court, in our opinion, was not at all justified  in  enforcing  the
communication dated 22.5.2008 which  was  palpably  illegal  and  there  was
reason for the printers to print the booklets after 31.3.2008.  In  view  of
aforesaid  fact,  the  communication  dated  22.5.2008  had   been   rightly
cancelled on 30.1.2009 as these booklets were  no  more  required  by  State
Government due to further change  of  format  of  booklets.  Even  otherwise
timely supply  was  necessary  as  per  order  dated  16.1.2008  though  the
communication dated 25.2.2008 was silent as to the  time  within  which  the
supply was to be made. The printers were very well aware that booklets  were
required urgently and time was essence of the contract and time  for  supply
could not have been more than what  was  originally  stipulated.  Sufficient
time had been given  to  them  to  supply  the  booklets  and  the  booklets
supplied by them till 31.3.2008 had been  accepted  by  the  appellants  and
payment has also been made. Thus  after  the  order  for  printing  booklets
stood cancelled on failure to  supply  within  the  stipulated  period,  the
contract came to an end, there was no reason for the printers to  print  the
booklets.  No communication has been placed on record between 31.3.2008  and
22.5.2008 asking printers to print  and  supply  the  booklets.    No  right
could  be  said  to  have  accrued  on  the  basis   of   palpably   illegal
communication dated 22.5.2008.  The Division Bench of the High Court in  the
circumstances of the case has erred in directing that the  booklets  printed
till 22.5.2008 be accepted. Booklets printed after  31.3.2008  were  without
any work order in existence.  The  communication  dated  25.2.2008  did  not
confer on them a right to print books  after  31.3.2008.  Whatever  booklets
they had supplied till 31.3.2008 were accepted. Thus,  the  High  Court  has
erred in the facts of the case to interfere in  contractual  matter  and  by
granting the relief. However, we observe that in case payment has  not  been
made to the printers for booklets which were  supplied  till  31.3.2008,  it
shall be made forthwith.
 8.   Thus, the impugned judgment and order is set aside, the appeals are
allowed.   Parties to bear their own costs.

                                  …….. ……………………….J.
                                  (V. Gopala Gowda)



New Delhi;                        ……………………………..J.
May 5, 2016.                      (Arun Mishra)



ITEM NO.1B-For Judgment       COURT NO.9               SECTION IVA

               S U P R E M E  C O U R T  O F  I N D I A
                       RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Civil Appeal  No(s).4817/2016 @ SLP(C) No.32730/2013

STATE OF M.P & ORS                                 Appellant(s)

                                VERSUS

M/S RUCHI PRINTERS                                 Respondent(s)

WITH
C.A. No. 4818/2016 @ SLP(C) No.36095/2013

C.A. No. 4819/2016 @ SLP(C) No.36096/2013

Date : 05/05/2016 These appeals were called on for pronouncement of
JUDGMENT today.


For Appellant(s)    Mr. C. D. Singh,Adv.

For Respondent(s)
                     Mr. Dinesh Chandra Pandey,Adv.

                     Mr. Ashiesh Kumar,Adv.


      Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra pronounced the judgment of  the  Bench
comprising  Hon'ble  Mr.  Justice   V.Gopala   Gowda   and   His   Lordship.

      Leave granted.
      The appeals are allowed in terms of the signed reportable Judgment.
      Pending application(s), if any, stand(s) disposed of.


        (VINOD KUMAR JHA)                     (MALA KUMARI SHARMA)
                COURT MASTER                            COURT MASTER
   (Signed Reportable judgment is placed on the file)

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