TELANGANA STATE INDUSTRIAL INFRASTRUCTURE CORPORATION TSIIC Vs. UNITECH LIMITED, 6
LAWS(APH)-2019-4-8
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on April 01,2019

Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Tsiic Appellant
VERSUS
Unitech Limited, 6 Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, C.J. - (1.)The Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation "TSIIC, for short" and the State of Telangana are the appellants in this Appeal against the order issued in a writ petition instituted by the respondents seeking an appropriate writ, order or direction and more particularly, one in the nature of Mandamus declaring the action of the respondents in retaining/withholding and in not paying back the amount of Rs.165 crores (with interest) despite the frustration of the offer made by the respondents in relation to the Integrated Township/Multi Services Aerospace Park Project as unfair, arbitrary, unconstitutional, opposed to doctrine of conscionability, unbecoming of a State and resultantly direct the respondents to jointly and severally, pay back the amount of Rs.165 crores along with interest at State Bank of India Prime Lending Rate (PLR) from the date of deposit till its realization to the petitioner No.3.
(2.)Through the impugned order, the learned Single Judge held that the writ petitioners need not approach the civil court for relief or avail remedy by way of arbitration and that there are no disputed questions of fact and that the impugned action of the respondents in the writ petition is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution and the claim made for refund of money is maintainable in the instant case, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and that, on facts of the case, the writ petitioners are eligible for the relief sought for by them. It was held that the State of Andhra Pradesh is not a necessary party, however, that the respondents in the writ petition, namely, Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and the State of Telangana, are entitled to recover the amounts from the State of Andhra Pradesh and the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation "APIIC, for short", if under law they are entitled to do so. The eligibility of the writ petitioners to claim other amounts from the respondents towards damages and other heads, if they are entitled to, under law, was left open. Resultantly, the impugned order was issued holding that an amount of Rs.660.55 crores is due and payable to the writ petitioners by the respondents, and a time bound direction for payment of such amount was issued. Hence, this Appeal by the respondents in the writ petition.
(3.)The learned Additional Advocate General and the learned Special Government Pleader appearing for the appellants argued that there is no public law element in the transaction and therefore, this is a case in which writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India ought not to have been exercised. It is further argued that the facts of the case would disclose that the transaction is merely a non-statutory contract, and therefore, equity jurisdiction under the extraordinary powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India ought not to have been extended as a substitute for invoking the jurisdiction of the civil courts by instituting civil suit. In support, reference was made to judicial precedents leading to Joshi Technologies International Inc., v. Union of India, 2015 7 SCC 728, Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education v. Union of India, 2016 6 SCC 635 and also to a Division Bench decision of this Court in Hyderabad Urban Development Authority v. M/s. IBC Knowledge Park Pvt., Ltd., (W.A.Nos.477 of 2010 and batch, Judgment dated 27.12.2012). It was also argued that in terms of Clause 23.1, remedy by way of arbitration is available and that ought to have been treated as an adequate alternative remedy to refuse to entertain the matter under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Referring to different clauses relating to refund and interest, it was argued that the question of grant of interest did not arise.
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