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No legally enforceable right or even a legitimate expectation has arisen in favour of the petitioner: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh

An error in the advertisement notice with regard to location, which is subject matter of the present case, and, as such, respondents were well within their rights and fully justified in cancelling the process and issuing a fresh advertisement notice by incorporating the correct particulars of the location. The aforesaid has been established by the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh while adjudicating the case of Kounsir Yousuf v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation And Another [OWP No.441/2018] which was decided upon by the single judge bench comprising Justice Sanjay Dhar on 10th November 2021.

The facts which emerge from the pleadings of the parties are that respondent Corporation issued an advertisement notice inviting applications for allotment of LPG Distributorship for various locations in Jammu and Kashmir which included the location at Lalpora District Kupwara. The advertisement notice was published in the newspaper Daily Excelsior. Petitioner responded to the said advertisement notice for allotment of distributorship of Lalpora area of District Kupwara and after fulfilling all the requirements & depositing the application fee of Rs.8000/, the respondent Corporation vide its letter, informed the petitioner that she has qualified to be included for selection of distributorship to be held through draw of lots. The petitioner is stated to have complied with all the requirements including deposition of requisite fee. However, to the utter surprise of the petitioner, the impugned letter came to be issued by respondents whereby she was informed that due to wrong advertising of Block and Gram Panchayat in the advertisement notice, her selection has been cancelled.

The court perused the facts and arguments presented. It was of the opinion that “Even the final letter of intent, in fact, does not give rise to a concluded contract as it provides for fulfilling of conditions specified in the said letter within a period of four months from the date of issuance of said letter or within a time limit that may be given by the OMC failing which even the final letter of intent is liable to be withdrawn. the process of allotment of LPG Distributorship has not traversed beyond the stage of Field Verification of credentials which is provided under Guideline No.18 of the Guidelines. It is at this stage that the Field Verification Committee of respondent Corporation pointed out that the Gram Panchayat and Block for location Lalpora is not Wavoora but it is Lalpora only. The Committee has opined that the Gram Panchayat and Block have wrongly been advertised with a proposal for re-advertising of location Lalpora with the changes in Gram Panchayat and Block and refund of application fee of all the candidates as well as 10% Field Verification Credential amount submitted by the selected candidates.”

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Judgment reviewed by Aryan Bajaj

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