The Supreme Court ruled that the respondent had no corresponding right to insist for consideration of the appeal by a forum that was no longer in existence.
The respondent preferred a writ petition in the High Court questioning the validity of an order whereby its dealership was terminated while giving an option to challenge the termination order by way of an appeal within 30 days along with fees in the sum of Rs. 5,00,000/-.
A bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Vikram Nath stated that the High Court took note of the admitted fact that during the pendency of appeal, the appellate forum had changed in view of the amendments in the guidelines; and the Dispute Resolution Forum, as provided earlier, was not in existence.
The court said that the High Court also took note of the fact that there was no challenge to the amended guidelines, which provide that the Director, Indian Oil Corporation Limited shall be the Appellate Authority. Thus, the High Court found no ground to issue mandamus so as to place the appeal filed by the present respondent before the Dispute Resolution Forum.
It was found that it is clear that the present respondent has given up its insistence for decision of the appeal by way of erstwhile mechanism, and rightly so because, even if the respondent (writ petitioner) had the right of consideration of appeal, it had no corresponding right to insist for consideration of the appeal by a forum that was no longer in existence.
The court observed that the impugned order, which was even otherwise questionable for being not in conformity with law, has lost its relevance and even the contempt proceedings in the High Court in Contempt Application are rendered redundant.
The court allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned order and closed the proceedings before the High Court in Contempt Application.
Case title: Sri Abhyudaya Kumar Shahi v/s M/S. Bharat Pradhan Filling Centre
Citation: Civil appeal no.1849 of 2022