"No Privity Of Contract Between Parties"- Madras HC Dismisses Plea Of Party Claiming Preference Towards Installing Cable At Govt Officials' Complex
A Madras High Court Bench of Justice CV Karthikeyan has dismissed a writ petition against the order of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, while stressing the importance of the privity of contract. It was observed that "The performance guarantee expired in May 2021. As and from May 2021, the respondents would not have any hold over the petitioner herein. There was no contract between the two parties. There was no privity of contract between the two parties. It was open to the respondents to appoint any cable operator."
AAG V Arun and Special Government Pleader T Seenivasan, among others, appeared for the Respondents. Counsel R Sivakumar appeared for the Petitioners.
In this case, a writ petition had been filed seeking records relating to the proceedings of the Executive Engineer, Tamil Nadu Housing Board. Further, it was prayed that the Executive Engineer permits the petitioner to deposit the annual fee for 1848 tenements in Koundampallayam Government Officials Housing Unit.
The High Court noted that the entire issue revolved around the suitability and eligibility of the petitioner to claim as preference the permission to provide television cable connections to 1848 tenements at the aforementioned officers' complex.
The Court observed that "it would certainly have been a more sensible approach if those officials who work in various Government Department are denied television cable connections in entirety as they would probably be more at peace".
Further, the Court took notice of the fact that there was a condition that the petitioner should provide a bank guarantee. In that context, the Court observed that "there was a condition laid that the petitioner should provide a performance guarantee in advance. If it is to be done, then on the date when the contract is to be entered into, the respondent should have a performance guarantee in their hands. There should be an assurance extended that if the petitioner fails to provide television cable connections to all the 1848 tenements or there are complaints about the quality of service rendered, then the respondents would be able to enforce the performance guarantee as against the petitioner herein. The performance guarantee expired in May 2021. As and from May 2021, the respondents would not have any hold over the petitioner herein. There was no contract between the two parties. There was no privity of contract between the two parties. It was open to the respondents to appoint any cable operator."
Observing that the respondents must be given the choice to appoint a cable tv operator, who in their opinion, would be able to provide television cable connections to all the 1848 tenements, the Court observed that it could not thrust a contract upon the respondents.
Holding that "The petitioner should be satisfied with the fact that he had, for considerable period provided television cable connections to the residents.", the High Court dismissed the petitions. No orders were passed as to costs.
Cause Title: M/s. Star Channel v. The Secretary to the Government & Ors.