Cal HC | Public remedy by way of invocation of extraordinary writ jurisdiction in a contractual matter, requires presence of a public element therein

Calcutta High Court: A Division Bench of Abhijit Gangopadhyay and Joymalya Bagchi, JJ. dismissed an appeal filed against order dismissing a petition seeking direction upon the Municipal Council for payment of a money claim.

A contract was executed between the appellant and respondent herein, under which some materials were supplied to the respondent Municipal Council by the appellant. However, since the respondent failed to make a payment for the same, a writ petition was filed by the appellant herein in this Court. Learned Single Judge declined to exercise extraordinary writ jurisdiction for payment of a money claim. Aggrieved by the said decision, the instant appeal was filed.

Learned counsel Babita Das, on behalf of the appellant submitted that materials had been supplied to the respondent and it accepted the same without demur. However, bills raised upon it in that regard remained unpaid. Even the representation made by the appellant to respondent-municipal council was not answered. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the respondent, Arul Prasanth submitted that the claim was disputed.

The Court observed that gist of the grievance of the appellant related to non-payment of a money claim arising out of the contractual obligation. Public remedy by way of invocation of extraordinary writ jurisdiction necessitated a public element in contractual matters. It was opined that the said public element was absent in the present case, which related to non-payment of bills raised in connection with supplies allegedly made to the respondent-Municipal Council.

In view of the above, it was held that dispute did not call for a public law remedy and thus there was no infirmity in the impugned order. Thus, the appeal was dismissed granting liberty to the appellant to seek an appropriate remedy before the civil forum in accordance with law.[Sri Krishna Traders v. Port Blair Municipal Council, MA No. 020 of 2019, decided on 10-06-2019]

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