JEWELS OF INDIA Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
JEWELS OF INDIA
UNION OF INDIA
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M.K.Sharma, J. -
(1.)The petitioners through this writ petition have sought for a direction to allow the petitioners to take part in the jewellery exhibition to be organised by the respondents at Abu Dhabi/Dubai from 1.10.1995 to 13.10.1995 and also at Kuwait from 16.11.1995 to 22.11.1995 with a further prayer for quashing the orders communicated by letters dated 28.7.1995 and 4.8.1995 declining the request of the petitioners to participate in the exhibition to be held at Abu Dhabi/Dubai and also at Kuwait.
(2.). The petitioners are dealing in jewellery for the past many years and are exporting Indian jewellery to various countries since 1981. The petitioner No.2 holds a valid jewellery license under the Gold Control Act. The respondent No.2, against whom the directions have been sought for in the present writ petition is a Government Corporation being an Undertaking of Government of India and is under the Ministry of Textiles. The Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, issued a public notice on 29.6.1992 laying down a scheme for export of gold ornaments and articles for sale at the exhibitions approved by the Ministry of Commerce and organised in the Middle-East Countries by respondent No.2. In pursuance of the said notice the respondent No.2 has been organising various exhibitions at different places of Middle-East Countries. The respondent No.2 has offered business-associate ship to the petitioner firm and in that respect the parties have entered into an agreement. The respondent No.2, through its letter dated 9.6.1995 intimated the petitioners and other business associates of respondent No.2 that the respondent No.2 is holding three jewellery exhibitions - (i) at Abu Dhabi/Dubai from 1.10.1995 to 13.10.1995; (ii) at Kuwait from 10.11.1995 to 22.11.1995 and (iii) at Doha (Qatar) from 31.12.1995 to 7.1.1996 and stipulated that for participation Rs.10,000.00 should be deposited by each participant for each of the aforesaid exhibitions as earnest money. In pursuance of the said communication the petitioners sent their consent alongwith their initial participation fee of Rs.30,000.00 (Rs.10,000.00 each for 3 exhibitions). The petitioners were thereafter informed by respondent No.2 that they have been selected only for participation in the exhibitions to be held at Doha (Qatar) and that they have not been selected for such exhibitions to be held at Abu Dhabi/Dubai and Kuwait. The grievance of the petitioners, raised in this writ petition is that no reason has been assigned by the respondent No.2 for denying them the opportunity to participate in the exhibitions to be held at the aforesaid two places, and have challenged before us their non- selection for such participation in the aforesaid two exhibitions.
(3.). On 17.8.1995, this court issued notice on the aforesaid writ petition. However, the interim reliefs prayed by the petitioners were rejected by this court. After receipt of notice issued by this court the respondent No.2 has contested this writ petition by filing a counter affidavit stating therein that 20 associates consented for participation in exhibitions at Abu Dhabi/Dubai, 22 associates gave their applications for participation in exhibitions at Kuwait and Doha in pursuance of their invitation issued through circular dated 9.6.1995. It is further stated in the said counter affidavit that as per the capacity of the hotel halls where the exhibitions are to be held, while 15 associates only could be accommodated at Abu Dhabi/Dubai, 16 associates could be accommodated at Kuwait and 20 associates could be accommodated in Doha and thus there are more applicants and lesser space for which the respondent No.2 had to prune the applications given in order to accommodate only permissible number of participants. It is also stated that the participants in the exhibition held at Cairo (Egypt) were initially not interested to participate in the said exhibitions but subsequently agreed to participate in the said exhibitions. Accordingly, in order to compensate the said 8 participants it was decided that they would all be allowed to participate in the three exhibitions namely at Abu Dhabi/Dubai, Kuwait and Doha. The respondent No.2 further stated that for the remaining berths the other applications were considered by adopting a criteria of the sales made in the earlier exhibitions. The respondent No.2 categorically asserted in their counter affidavit that the applications received by the respondent No.2 were considered on their respective merit by adopting objective criteria which is reasonable and bonafide.
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