Decided on June 27,2008



DHIRENDRA MISHRA,J. - (1.)THE above writ petitions are being disposed of by this common order as in all these petitions the common question is involved for adjudication. However, W.P. (C) No. 2356/08 is taken as a leading case and facts of this case are dealt with in this order.
(2.)BRIEFLY stated facts of the case are that the respondent No. 2 issued an auction notice dated 13-1-2007 (Annexure P-6) in the newspaper for sale of 29 plots by public auction (17 plots of HIG Group & 12 plots of MIG Group). The petitioners participated in the auction held on 31-1-2007 and they were declared highest bidders for Plot Nos. MIG 26, 20, 22, 23 respectively. The reserved/upset price was fixed at Rs. 3,64,000/-, whereas, bids of the petitioners were at Rs. 4,92,000/-, Rs. 4,60,000/-, Rs. 4,99,000/- and Rs. 4,91,000/- respectively. The Mayor-in-Council of respondent-Corporation accorded approval to the offer of the petitioners on 19-3-2007 vide Annexure P-3, which was subsequently approved by the General Body of the Corporation on 29-3-2007 vide Annexure P-4. Thereafter, the matter was forwarded to respondent No. 1 vide Annexure P-7 for its approval as required under Section 80 of the C.G. Municipal Corporation Act, 1956 and C.G. Municipal (Transfer of Immovable Properties) Rules, 1994. However, respondent No. 1 accorded approval of the auction only for 20 plots out of 29 auctioned plots and cancelled the auction for remaining 9 plots vide order dated 3-12-2007 of Annexure P-1 on the ground that highest bid received in the auction for remaining 9 plots is less.
Learned Counsel for the petitioner argued that respondent No. 1 ought to have accorded approval keeping in view that highest bid received was more than the reserved price and the price offered by the petitioners was higher than the valuation as per guidelines issued by the Collector. Respondent No. 1, without elaborating as to what should have been the expected highest price, has refused to accord approval by terming the price quoted by the petitioners as low. Order of Annexure P-1 is bad and arbitrary as the same is without any reason. Reliance is placed on AIR 2008 (NOC) 1387 between Md. Abdul Jalil and etc. v. State of Assam and Ors. and : [1980]3SCR1338 between Kasturi Lal Lakshmi Reddy etc. v. The State of Jammu & Kashmir and Anr.. The learned Counsel for the petitioner is heard on admission.

(3.)THE questions for consideration in these petitions are:
(i) Whether any right accrued to the highest bidder of public auction ? and; (ii) What is the scope of judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, where the challenge is cancellation of public auction by public body ?


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