S G STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(DLH)-1983-11-44
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on November 21,1983

S.G STILS PRIVATE LIMITED Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

USHA INDIA LIMITED VS. MAHANAGAR TELEPHONE NIGAM LIMITED [LAWS(DLH)-1994-8-35] [DISTINGUISHED]
ANKLESHWAR INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GJH)-1994-11-13] [RELIED ON]
MAGHAR SINGH AND ANOTHER VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-1985-1-128] [REFERRED]


JUDGEMENT

S.B.WAD - (1.)The Indian Telegraph Rules were amended on 14-2-1983 requiring payment of security deposit of Rs. 10,000 by the telex subscribers. 'A new rule was added as 505-A for the new subscribers. Rule 505-B was introduced for imposing security deposit on the existing telex subscribers. In these petitions, filed by the existing telex subscribers, the validity of the said security deposit is challenged.
(2.)Originally the writ petitions were filed when the demand notices for payment of security deposit were served on the petitioners. The telex subscribers were further warned through the said notices that if they would not deposit the security amount within one month it would be presumed that they were not interested in the telex connections and the telex connections would be disconnected without any further notice But no provision of law enabling such an imposition was stated in the notice. After the admission of the writ petitions the time for payment of the security deposit was extended till the end of September, 1983. When the counter-affidavit was filed, a copy of the amended rules, was . produced by the respondents. The writ petitions were thereafter amended so as to challenge the validity of the rules. As large number of cases were involved the hearing of the writ petitions was expedited. The counsel for the respondents fairly assured that till the judgement was pronounced, no recovery would be made from the .petitioners.
(3.)Telex services are made available to the subscribers under the Indian Telegraph Rules, 1983 framed under the Indian Telegraph Act. Section 7 of the Act empowers the Central Government to frame rules for various purposes. Section 7(2) (h) is relevant for our immediate purpose. It reads : "7. Power to make rules for the conduct of telegraphs. (1) The Central Government may from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules consistent with this Act for the conduct of all or any telegraphs established, maintained or worked by the Government or by persons licensed under this Act. 885 (2) Rules under this section may provide for all or any of the following, among other matters, that is to say :- to (g) the time at which, the manner in which, the conditions under which and the persons by whom the rates, charges and fees "mentioned in this subsection shall be paid and the furnishing of security for the payment of such rates, charges and fees;" The imposition of the security deposit has been challenged on the following grounds : The Government cannot unilaterally change the terms of the original contract between the parties. When the telex connections were given there was no provision tor the security deposit. (ii)The amendment to Rule 505-B is prospective and, therefore, no security deposit can be imposed on the existing telex subscribers. (iii) Imposition of the security deposit is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. . (iv) The imposition of the security is beyond the competence of the rule-making power of the Central Government. The only sanction provided by the Indian Telegraphs Act, in case of the breach of erms by' the subscribers, is disconnection. (v) Sub-rule (2) of Rule 505-B introduced by the amendment is arbitrary and violates the principles of natural justice as it empowers the Department to withdraw telex service and apparatus without any notice. 886
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