Decided on December 20,2007

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.) THE present writ petition is filed by the petitioner by way of a public interest litigation questioning the action of the Union of India in procurement of wheat from outside source. The petitioner who is an advocate and believes in upholding the majesty of law appears to be concerned with the aforesaid procurement of wheat by the Government of India which, according to him, is being done at an unreasonable and arbitrary price causing huge loss to the public exchequer.
(2.) AN advance copy was served on the respondent No. 1 Union of India upon which the said Union of India entered appearance and represented by the Addl. Solicitor General of India. At the subsequent stage, State Trading corporation of India also entered appearance. Although no notice was issued, the parties filed their pleadings by way of counter affidavits and rejoinders. The very filing of the writ petition in this Court is challenged by the respondents on various grounds including raising of preliminary objections regarding maintainability of the writ petition. It was submitted on behalf of the respondents that apart from the fact that the petition has no merit, the petitioner has no locus standi to file the present petition. It is also submitted that the present writ petition is not maintainable as the impugned policy is nothing but a financial and economic decision taken by the Government in exercise of its administrative power. Since the aforesaid preliminary objections have been raised while hearing the petition we also heard the rival contentions of the parties on the aforesaid two pleas as well.
(3.) THE issue that is raised in the writ petition is stated to be the arbitrary action of the Union of India with regard to the procurement of wheat at an unreasonable and arbitrary price causing huge loss to the public exchequer. During the course of arguments it transpired that there is a proposal to procure wheat from the international market. The petitioner is an advocate. May be he is concerned with the welfare of the people in terms of the objective in the Constitution but he is not directly involved in any manner with the aforesaid policy of procurement of wheat by the respondents from international market. He is neither a producer of wheat nor a dealer or trader of wheat and, therefore, he is no way concerned with the pricing policy directly as a producer, a dealer or a trader of wheat. The respondents have stated that the aforesaid procurement of wheat by the respondents from international market is due to the unavoidable circumstances and situation. The petitioner has also raised a plea in the writ petition contending, inter alia, as to why the Government floated a second tender in the month of June instead of waiting till September when the international prices were expected to fall.;

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