Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: Shaji P. Chaly, J. allowed the writ petition for the payment of the balance outstanding amount on the ground of unforeseen circumstances.

Easwaran and M.A. Augustine, counsels for the petitioner submitted that there was an agreement between the petitioner and respondent for the collection of the toll of the over bridge. The petitioner, as per the terms was making the monthly installments in the terms of the contract. It was further submitted that the petitioner was a contractor in the respect of the other bridge named as Koyilandi Rail over bridge. The petitioner reiterated that he was making monthly installments in accordance with the terms of the contract but due to unforeseen circumstances, there was no collection of a toll as was expected and thus was not able to pay the amount on time. Thus, prayed for paying the amount in installment rather than a lump sum.

Vijaya Kumar, counsel for the respondent admitted affirmatively regarding the delay in payments which were not made according to terms and condition of the contract.

The court opined that as the petitioner was ready to pay the amount in both the contract and therefore no action can be brought against the parties. The court also took into the account the adverse economic situations prevailing in the community and directed the petitioner to the pay the amount in the installment, and made the condition that “if the petitioner violated the direction the respondent will be at liberty to recover the amount in lump sum accordance with the law”.[C.H Pavithran v. Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 1662, decided on 29-05-2019]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT): While allowing a petition filed by Multi System Operator/ Cable Operator Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd., TDSAT directed INX News Pvt. Ltd. to pay to Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd. outstanding dues of Rs 95.76 lakh. Earlier, Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd. had filed a petition before the TDSAT seeking recovery of placement charges amounting to Rs. 95,76,798/-along with interest at the rate of 24% per annum from the INX News Pvt. Ltd. for the placement of its channel namely “INX News” across the areas covered by the headend of the petitioner. Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd. had alleged in the petition that Fifth Avenue Media of Mumbai acting on behalf of INX News had agreed to pay a sum of Rs 1.15 crore for the placement of the channel for the period 01.06.2011 to 31.05.2012. It was further alleged that though the channel was placed as per the agreement, INX News made a payment of Rs 31.07 lakh only and has not made any further payment to Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd. After perusal of relevant documents and hearing both the parties, TDSAT observed, “we are convinced that Respondent No. 2 (Fifth Avenue Media) was acting on behalf of Respondent No.1 (INX News Pvt. Ltd.) and there was an agreement between the parties for placement of the channel of Respondent No. 1 on the network of the petitioner.”  The Tribunal further noted that INX News Pvt. Ltd. had to pay a sum of Rs. 1.15 crores for the placement of the channel for the period 01.06.2011 to 31.05.2012, but it made a payment of Rs. 31,07,702/- only and has not made any further payment to Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd. While allowing the petition TDSAT directed INX News Pvt. Ltd. to pay outstanding dues to Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd. after deducting TDS, if any, deposited by it with the income tax authorities for which it will provide the TDS certificates. [Manthan Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd. v. INX News Pvt. Ltd., 2015 SCC OnLine TDSAT 1357, decided on September 9, 2015]