A writ court should not entertain a petition in contractual matters involving disputed questions of fact

Karnataka High Court: While deciding a writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution, a Single Judge Bench of Vineet Kothari, J. held that the prayer made in the instant petition that the respondent-BESCOM be directed to purchase all the meters manufactured by the petitioner at the agreed rate even after the lapse of contract period, was a relief which could not be granted by exercise of writ jurisdiction.

The petitioner-company sought the relief in a contractual matter against the respondent-Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd. (BESCOM) to the effect that the respondent may be directed to conform to the terms of statutory contract entered into between the parties for supply of electro static meters.

Learned counsel for the petitioner-company contented that such a relief could be granted by the High Court in exercise of its writ jurisdiction. In support of his contention the learned counsel cited a number of cases of other High Courts as well as the Supreme Court.

The Court perused the record and the cases cited by the parties, and held that writ jurisdiction is ill-suited for contractual matters where several factual and legal aspects are required to be proved by relevant evidence. The parties to the contract should be normally relegated to the remedy by way of civil suits. Neither the writ petitions could be converted into money recovery suits nor could they be invoked to enforce contracts in the manner in which it was sought by the petitioner.

Accordingly, the Court was of the view that there was no justification to interfere in the instant petition and the petitioner was not entitled to the relief as claimed. [Landis + GYR Ltd. v. Bangalore Electricity Supply Co. Ltd., Writ Petition No. 8001 of 2015 (GM-KEB), decided on September 18, 2017]

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