MP HC | Documentary evidences must, to prove intention to renew contract and to prevail efficacious remedy under law

Madhya Pradesh High Court: G.S. Ahluwalia, J. dismissed a writ due to lack of merit, where the petitioner challenged the advertisement by which the applications had been invited from Private Operators for the operation of Lok Seva Kendra under State Agency for Public Service, Madhya Pradesh.

Learned counsel for the petitioner Chandresh Kumar Shrivastava, submitted that the petitioner was awarded a contract for operating Lok Seva Kendra for three years and it was renewed subsequently. Clause 11 of the Agreement provided for renewal of contract, according to which, if the operator is interested to continue his right to operate Lok Seva Kendra, then he had to make an application for extension of the contract for a further period of three years within six months in advance to the expiry of the contract. He contended that, he made an application for renewal of his contract, however, without deciding the application, the respondents had issued an advertisement and ignored the request of the petitioner.

The learned counsel for the State, F.A. Shah submitted that the petitioner had not filed the acknowledgment of the receipt of the said application. The counsel highlighted that in case, if there was any dispute, the petitioner had an efficacious and alternative remedy under the Agreement and the petitioner had approached this Court without availing Arbitration Clause, which should have been the first recourse.

The petitioner contended that since the dispute was not raised because of violation of any contractual obligation either by the respondents or by the petitioner, therefore, the Arbitration Clause would not apply. It was further submitted that the State Government had issued instructions on with regard to the renewal of the contract and in the letter by the State the period of the agreement was extended in view of the ongoing election process. However, the State directed by a subsequent letter that the building should be handed over to the successor. Accordingly, it is clear that the agreement, which was executed in favour of the petitioner, would be prematurely terminated.

The Court observed that, the petitioner had not filed any acknowledgment or receipt to prove that petitioner had exercised his right of renewal before the State. Further, it stated that the case of the petitioner is one which qualified for alternative Redressal Forum as the petitioner sought enforcement of Clause 11 of the Agreement thus, the petitioner claimed that Clause 11 of the Agreement had been violated by the respondents. The Court held that, the efficacious remedy for the petitioner is under Clause 15 i.e availability of Arbitration Clause. Hence, the case of the petitioner was dismissed accordingly.[Shivkant Shrivastava v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 943, decided on 30-05-2019]

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