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If security deposit already been forfeited, it will not be refunded: Patna High Court

As all questions of fact and law are left open, and the appropriate authority will consider and decide all issues of fact and law in a timely and positive manner and the security deposit since already been forfeited, it will not be refunded to the petitioner until a decision is reached  is upheld by the High Court of Patna through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE and HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SANJEEV PRAKASH SHARMA in the case of Hari Mohan Bishwas a Proprietorship firm Vs. Bihar State Educational Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.10050 of 2021).

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner has requested the court to issue appropriate writs, orders, and declarations in the nature of writs of Mandamus, holding and declaring that the Respondents’ action of rescinding the petitioner’s contract via notice memo letter dated 12.02.2021 without giving the petitioner an opportunity to be heard is in violation of Articles 14, 16, and 19(I)(g) of the Constitution of India, and be pleased to quash and set aside the rescinding order and to issue a writ of prohibition in favour of the petitioner, barring the Respondents from taking any coercive action against the petitioner corporation without first going through the legal procedure and conforming to natural justice principles. Further, while this petition is pending admission, hearing, and/or final disposition, Hon’ble Court be pleased to stay the execution, operation, and implementation of the rescinding notice issued by the Respondent via memo letter dated 12.02.2021 and may be pleased to direct the Respondent from taking any coercive action against the petitioner from rescinding/terminating the petitioner’s contract without following the due process of law or the principles of natural justice.

The challenged order/communication dated 05.03.2021 was clearly passed/issued prior to the time indicated in the authority’s notice to show cause sent to the petitioner, as evidenced by the paper book. However, the notice was only received on February 27, 2021, as evidenced by the mail receipt. Whether the petitioner had sufficient time to respond or not, we are of the considered opinion that it would be in the interests of justice to ask the authority to issue a new order after giving the petitioner an opportunity to place on record material in support of his defence and after hearing all parties involved.

Dispose of the petition at hand, the contested order/communication of March 5, 2021 is quashed and set aside, and the petitioner must appear before the relevant authority on January 12, 2022, at which time he must provide all evidence in support of his defence. All questions of fact and law are left open, and the appropriate authority will consider and decide all issues of fact and law in a timely and positive manner. Since the security deposit has already been forfeited, it will not be refunded to the petitioner until a decision is reached and interlocutory applications, if any, are also dismissed.

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Judgement reviewed by – Pooja Lakshmi

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