The division bench of the Allahabad High Court while dismissing a Writ petition held that a writ of mandamus cannot be issued and enforced preliminarily in cases involving the contractual liability against the state which are non-statutory and free from any constitutional rights.
The writ arose when the petitioners were aggrieved from the non-payment of the dues arising out of the contractual liability from the e-tender issued by the state. The petitioners approached the High court under a writ petition asking to issue a writ of Mandamus to the appropriate state authority to clear the dues under the W.P. No. 13388 of 2020 which was clubbed with a similar case against the non-payment of dues in the same state department. The High Court dismissed the petition while observing that such contractual liabilities as also, in this case, are primarily related to private law and therefore fall outside the scope of Article 226 of the Constitution of India while citing the supreme court decision in the case K. K. Saksena v. International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage and others (2015) 4 SCC 670. In the said case a clear distinction was laid down by the Supreme Court between the private and public law and held that the matters subject to “private law obligations of the State or public authorities are not amenable to writ jurisdiction.”
The Division Bench comprising of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Dr. Yogendra Kumar Srivastava further added to the above observation that the restriction in case of contractual matters under writ petitions is a self-imposed restriction and an exception can be given to the restriction in the cases where the amount of balance due is admitted by the respondents and there is no question of evidence or facts involved in the matter and the application of the exception is discretionary in nature.