Auction Proceedings without Framing of Rules

Auction Proceedings without Framing of Rules Auction Case Laws Constitutional Law Knowledge - Constitutional Law Lahore High Court Litigation & Arbitration Local Government Solutions - Constitutional Law Mr. Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf in his judgment has decided the issue of auction proceedings without framing of rules under Punjab Local Government Ordinance in Writ Petition No. 8662 of 2016.

1. The petitioners are dealing with the business of advertising having displayed their billboards at different places within the territorial limits of Tehsil and District Khushab. The respondents No.2 & 3 have issued a publication in daily newspaper inviting public to participate in the proceedings for the auction of various sites for billboards. The petitioners being aggrieved of the publication have thrown a challenge to the same by way of instant petition.

2. Learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that auction of the sites in question can only be done after framing of rules and bye-laws as per mandate of Sections 94, 118, 141 to 147 & 192 of The Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 2001. He added that no rules have been framed by the respondents thus they have no lawful authority to hold the auction in question. Learned counsel contended that most of the sites mentioned in the publication are not owned by the Tehsil Municipal Administration, so holding of auction is unwarranted.

3. On the other hand, learned counsel representing respondents No.2 & 3 vehemently resisted the instant petition. He submitted that the petitioners have already filed a suit with regard to the same cause of action which is pending before the court of competent jurisdiction. Learned counsel maintained that in presence of alternate remedy in the form of appeal, the instant petition is not competent. It is further contended by the learned counsel that auction has already taken place and the petitioners even did not participate in the said proceedings, so they have no locus standi to file the instant petition. In support of his contentions, learned counsel relied upon “Muhammad Arsahd versus Secretary, Local Government and Rural Development Department, Lahore and 4 others” (2005 CLC 939) and “Pervaiz Iqbal versus Tehsil Nazim and others” (2007 CLC 583).

4. I have heard learned counsel for the petitioners as well as learned counsel for the respondents and also perused the record.

5. After hearing the respective contentions of both the sides, I am of the considered view that there can be no second opinion that the Constitutional jurisdiction is discretionary relief which can only be exercised in extra-ordinary and exceptional circumstances in aid of a litigant who approaches the court with clean hands. The petitioners have already approached the Civil Court by way of a suit agitating the same cause and the learned Civil Judge, seized with the matter, has already refused to grant the temporary injunction by way of order dated 02nd of March, 2016, which order was assailed by the petitioners through an appeal but the appeal was also dismissed. The petitioners cannot pick the forum of their own choice in order to get a relief in their favour, thus circumventing the ordinary jurisdiction of the Court at the whims of a party would mean to obstruct the normal process of law and to show a distrust on the working of Sub-ordinate Courts, which is never the object of law. Before commenting upon other merits of the instant petition, it can be held without any hesitation that the petitioners were obliged to disclose the pendency of litigation, while filing the instant petition. It appears that the disclosure about the pendency of suit was purposely withheld which sole circumstance is sufficient to dis-entitle them from claiming the discretionary relief in terms of Article 199 of The Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.

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