Issuance of Writ Mandamus Directing the Respondent to Refund the Security deposit can be Maintainable: Assam High Court

The writ petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, like Mandamus directing to release the security deposit. A court order Commanding an Inferior authority to perform an Official duty correctly held by the Hon’ble Assam High Court Before the Hon’ble Mr JUSTICE DEVASHIS BARUAH in the matters of Power Grid Associates v. Assam State Electricity Board [WP(C)/2765/2015].

The background of the case arises from the petitioner entered into the three agreements for the deployment of ‘Input base Distribution Franchise’. The Petitioner was appointed as a Franchise to undertake the management of local distribution and revenue collection in the area, assigned to including minor repair and maintenance activities, provision of new service connections, disconnections, and regularization of illegal consumers as detailed in the said agreement, subject to terms and conditions, as stipulated from time to time by the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission, in a specific area within the Jurisdiction of the Respondent Electricity Company.

The petitioner deposited a sum of Rs. 23,20,835/- as a security deposit, to secure the deposit the performance of the petitioner obligation under the agreement. However, the petitioner could not perform its obligation due to various difficulties faced. The General Meeting agreed on certain deliberation and ended with active participation from the Franchises and discom. The difficulties pointed out by the petitioner was not resolved, for which the petitioner requested to release the security deposit amount being submitted to the Respondent Electricity Company.

In the agreement, it is mentioned that the Security Deposit amount released was only agreed upon by the Chief Managing Director, APDCL (Assam Power Distribution Company Limited). The Petitioner filed the Writ Petition for the direction of the Respondent authorities to release the Security Deposits amounting to Rs. 23,20,835/-. The court issued notice to the Respondent and haven’t filed any Affidavit-in-opposition. The dispute raised by way of the affidavit filed by the Respondent is regarded as an entitlement of the Respondent Authorities to the claim of the petitioner. Petitioner entitlement to the relief sought by the way of present writ petition cannot be adjudicated upon the ground of the disputed question of facts.

The Hon’ble Court concluded that the Notice issued by the was Arbitrary and unreasonable action on part of the Respondent and directed the Respondent Electricity Company to release the said Security deposit within six weeks.


Click here to Read the Judgement.

Judgement reviewed by – Kaviya S

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