The writ petition has been filed in the Allahabad High Court headed by Hon'ble Surya Prakash Kesarvani and Hon'ble Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava praying to quash the advertisement dated 20.03.2020, the order dated 16.03.2020 passed by the Allotment Committee with the approval of the District Magistrate, Agra.
The bids were invited pursuant to a tender notice in public newspaper for open auction of 43 shops for allotment at Mandi Sthal Barauli Ameer, Agra. Seven shops were reserved for the scheduled castes, only five firms showed up including the petitioner and submitted their bids. The petitioner submitted a bid of Rs 16,50,000 in the name of M/s K.G.N Trading Company.
The Allotment Committee upon considering that the number of applicants were less and competitive bids were not submitted, which had resulted in the bids having submitted for a lesser amount. The committee took a decision not to accept the highest bids for the scheduled caste category shops. A resolution was passed on 26.02.2020 which was approved by the District Magistrate of Agra. Fresh advertisement notice dated 18.01.2020, published on 20.03.2020 inviting bids after seeing this petitioner filed a writ petition.
Learned counsel for the petitioner had drawn attention of the court towards the bye-laws i.e Avanton Vinayamawali-2016 to submit that even a single bid, the Allotment Committee was empowered to grant approval. It was sought to be contended that once the bid submitted by the petitioner was highest in the reserved category then the Allotment Committee was bound to accept the same as per the terms of the Avanton Vinayamawali -2016.
The bid submitted by the petitioner, in respect of the shop in question which was reserved for scheduled category, was for Rs 16,50,000. The proceeding of Allotment Committee dated 26.02.2020, which are on record, indicate that the bids submitted under the other category were much higher. The Allotment Committee, as referred to under clause 3(7) of the Avanton Vinayamawali -2016, took into consideration that in respect of the shops reserved for scheduled castes category only five firms submitted their applications and the number of applicants being less resulted in the bid amount being less than expected. It is view of the aforesaid situation that the Allotment Committee took a decision not to accept the highest bid in respect to the shops reserved for the scheduled castes category under which the petitioner had submitted his application.
The right of the highest bidder at public auction has been subject matter of consideration in a number of cases and it has been consistently held that the authority concerned is not bound to accept the highest bid, which subject to the condition in terms of which the public auction has been held.
In Rajasthan Housing Board and Ors v. GS Instruments and Ors (2007)1 SCC 477 it was held that the highest bidder didn't acquire any vested right to have the auction concluded in his favour as the same was subject to the condition to the effect that the chairman of the Housing Board shall have the final authority in accepting the final bid.
In an earlier decision Laxmikant V. Satyawan (1996) 4 SCC 208 it was held that if the public auction had been completed and the respondent was the highest bidder, no right had accrued to him till the confirmation letter had been issued to him. It has bee. repeatedly pointed out that the state or the authority which can be held to state under the meaning of Article 12 of the Indian Constitution is not bound to accept the highest bid or tender.
In Meerut development authority v. association of management studies (2009)6 SCC 171, it was laid down as a legal principle that the bidder who has participated in the tender has no other right to except the right to equality and fair treatment in the matter of evaluation of competitive bids.
Having regard to the above mentioned we can say that highest bidder does not acquire any vested right to have the auction concluded in his favour and the authority concerned is not bound to accept the highest bid or tender which is subjected to any terms and condition it is open to the authority not accept the highest bid if sufficient and good reasons exist.
For the reason stated High Court is not inclined to exercise their discretionary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution to interfere in the matter.
The writ petition was accordingly dismissed.