Decided on March 30,1983

Kirtikumar Gandalal Shah Appellant


S.L.TALATI - (1.) The respondent Indian Oil Corporation Limited is a Government of India undertaking and is engaged in distribution of kerosene and light diesel oil (L. D. O ) and it has the sole monopoly in allotment of dealership and distributorship of kerosene and L.D.O. The respondent is the State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India.
(2.) The respondent Company in May 1973 gave an advertisement in several Newspapers for appointment of dealer for Baroda- Sankheda region in Baroda district for kerosene and L.D.O. Applications were invited from public for appointment of dealer for kerosene and L. D. O. in Baroda-Sankheda region. About 70 or 80 persons applied in response to that advertisement. The advertisement required certain educational qualifications business capacity to secure sales and management and it further provided that the person whose parents husband or wife brother or sister sons or daughters if any of them have got dealership then such persons should not apply for getting dealership. After scrutiny of the applications which were received interviews were held at Ahmedabad on 27/09/1979 Several persons including the petitioner were called for interview. The committee of four persons was appointed for selecting a person to whom dealership can be granted. After full inquiries and considering the financial capacity and capacity for storage it was unanimously resolved and recommended by the said committee that the petitioner should be appointed as a dealer for the said region. The petitioner had a godown at Makarpura near National Highway and had also an office with telephone communication and ultimately the name of the petitioner was unanimously recommended by the Committee of four persons. After the recommendation was made by the Committee the Senior Sales Officer Mr. Shrivastav verified the contents of the application and also verified the financial capacity of the petitioner collected all the documents from the petitioner including the income tax returns of the petitioner for the last three years. He also endorsed the unanimous recommendation made by the Committee. The petitioner learnt that he was the sole person for dealership for Baroda-Sankheda region. Ultimately the papers were forwarded to the regional office for approval. The petitioner reliably learnt that the regional office at Bombay also approved the granting of dealership to the petitioner. However the petitioner was not appointed. According to the petitioner he was also informed by the Senior Sales Manager that the petitioner was the only person selected for dealership and therefore the petitioner could not be denied for appointment of dealership.
(3.) Thereafter the Senior Sales Officer Mr. Deshmukh of Ahmedabad visited the petitioners place and again made inquiries which had already made previously and on inquiry the petitioner learnt that some anonymous applications were made by the interested parties who could not get dealership to the effect that one Shri Deepak Shah a partner of J. C. Shah & Co. who had dealership for kerosene and L. D. O. in Baroda was related to or at any rate was a fast friend of the petitioner. According to the petitioner Shri Deepak Shah was not related to him and he was not his fast friend. He only knew him According to the petitioner his statement was recorded and the petitioner in his statement made it clear that he had no relationship with Shri Deepak Shah. The petitioner also learnt that the statement of Shri Deepak Shah was also recorded and he also clearly stated that he was not related to the petitioner. Some how the petitioner was not granted dealership. The petitioner probably thought that on account of some strained relationship of Shri Deepak Shah and some higherup in the office he was not granted dealership. Ultimately the respondent issued another advertisement and fixed interviews on 15/04/1982 at Ahmedabad for selecting a person for granting dealership of kerosene and L. D. O. As a result the petitioner filed the present petition on 13/04/1982 and obtained an interim mandatory order directing the respondent not to hold interviews and praying for a writ of mandamus under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and sought directions against the respondent to grant dealership to the petitioner for kerosene and L. D. O. for Baroda-Sankheda region in pursuance of the advertisement given in May 1979.;

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