Decided on April 24,2020

Sk Talim Ali Appellant


S.K. Panigrahi, J. - (1.) The instant writ petition challenges the termination letter dated 17.02.2020 issued by the opposite party no.1/ Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (in short 'the HPCL') to the petitioner herein vide reference No.BLRO/DKB on the ground of violation of natural justice. The petitioner herein assails the termination of H.P. Gas (LPG) Distributorship Agreement dated 28.10.2013 which was further renewed vide Agreement dated 09.03.2019.
(2.) The facts in nutshell, the petitioner was appointed as Distributor of LPG under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitarak (RGGLV) in respect of the advertised RGGLV location called Brahmabarada through a Selection Process by way of an open advertisement issued by HPCL. In the said selection process, the petitioner was one of the applicants for the RGGLV location named Brahmabarada Kalan coming under Rasulpur Block, District-Jajpur (Odisha). The core issue surrounding the present dispute is the submission of "Residence Certificate" of the advertised location though it constitutes one of the essential eligibility criteria for awarding the distributorship as per Clause 3(b) read with Clause-7 of the advertisement issued by HPCL. Accordingly, he submitted a "Residence Certificate" issued in his favour by the Tahasildar, Dharmasala vide Misc. Case No.1958 of 2011. During the currency of the said advertisement, the Dharmashala Tahasil underwent a bifurcation namely Dharashala Tahasil and Rasulpur Tahasil. It is pertinent to note that the village Brahmabarada comes under Rasulpur Tahasil after the bifurcation exercise. In the meantime, the HPCL authority, during the Field Verification of Credential (FVC), asked the petitioner to submit Residential Certificate issued by the Tahasildar, Rasulpur since the new jurisdictional Tahasil is Rasulpur. Accordingly, the petitioner submitted another "Residence Certificate" dated 30.01.2013 issued by the Tahasildar, Rasulpur certified to be a resident of Brahmabarada. On the strength of the said document, he was issued Letter of Intent. Finally, he was found suitable for final award of distributorship for the advertised location-Brahmabarada. However, upon a complaint made by one of the unsuccessful complainants i.e. the Opposite Party No.6 herein, it was discovered that the furnished "Residential Certificate" mentioned him to be the resident of Brahmabarada alleged to be false and incorrect as he is not an ordinary resident of advertised location "Brahmabarada" which is under Rasulpur Block.
(3.) Upon perusal of records, the petitioner was found to be the resident of village Chandapur and not Brahmabarada. In fact, Residential Certificate issued to the petitioner by the Tahasildar, Rasulpur vide Misc. Certificate Case No. 357 of 2013 was challenged by the opposite Party No.6 before the Sub-Collector, Jajpur by way of an Appeal bearing Misc. Appeal No.20 of 2013. After hearing the parties, the Sub- Collector, Jajpur vide order dated 27.01.2015 allowed the Appeal and concluded that the petitioner is a resident of village "Chandapur" and not "Brahamabarada". Being aggrieved by the said order dated 27.01.2015 of the Sub-Collector, Jajpur, the petitioner herein, approached to this Court in W.P.(C) No.2582 of 2015 which was dismissed vide judgment and order dated 11.09.2017 confirming the order passed by the Sub-Collector, Jajpur and held that the petitioner herein is a resident of "Chandapur" and not "Brahmabarada". He further invoked the provisions of intra-court Appeal assailing the dismissal order dated 11.09.2017 by Hon'ble Single Judge, by way of Writ Appeal No.340 of 2017. The Division Bench vide order dated 05.02.2018 took the confirmatory view taken by the Single Judge and concluded that the petitioner is a resident of village "Chandapur" and not "Brahmabarada". The order of the Division Bench, was unsuccessfully challenged by the petitioner before the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India by way of Special Leave Petition being SLP (C) No.13004 of 2019. Thus, the findings of Appellate Authority-cum-Sub-Collector, Jajpur have attained finality.;

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