M/s. Nova Ads Versus Metropolitan Transport Corporation And Ors.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL/APPELLATE JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION (C) NO. 223 OF 2009

M/s. Nova Ads … Petitioner

Versus

Metropolitan Transport Corporation And Ors. … Respondents

The litigation has a history. The MTCL issued advertisements for erection and maintenance of certain bus shelters, both lit and non-lit and in response to the said advertisement, M/s. Aim Associates approached the 1st respondent for taking of the work of erection and maintenance of bus shelters on “build, operate and transfer” on sponsorship basis. It was based on the principle of first come, first serve. Specific areas had been allotted in favour of the respondents to the writ petition who have also preferred appeals by way of special leave. The agreement entered into by the MTCL with the sponsors was to remain valid for one year with the stipulation that the same shall be renewed every year for next nine years subject to the performance of the sponsors and compliance of all the terms and conditions of the agreement to the best satisfaction of the MTCL. Similar sponsorship agreements had been entered into with the other sponsors for construction and maintenance of bus shelters in the city of Chennai. In 2003, as various disputes arose pertaining to the sponsorship agreement, respondent nos. 3to 8 to the writ petition, invoked the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. While the said writ petitions were pending, K.S. Kumar Raja, the 9th respondent to the writ petition, also preferred a writ petition before the High Court challenging the authority of the MTCL in allotting contract for erection and maintenance of bus shelters. Dealing with all the writ petitions, the High Court passed a common order on 5.9.2006. Be it stated, along with the writ petition, certain writ appeals were disposed of by the High Court. The High Court adverted to the facts in W.P.(C) No. 318/2004 which was filed by K.S. Kumar Raja, the sole proprietor, City Advertising Systems, Chennai who had questioned the tender notification dated31.3.2003 published in Dina Bhoomi, a daily newspaper. By the said tender notification, MTCL had called for tenders from intending buyers for erection of bus shelters on the road margins within the city of Chennai. The said K.S. Kumar Raja had also preferred W.P.No. 34872/2003 calling in question the legal acceptability of the order dated 7.11.2003 of the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Chennai (for short, ‘the Corporation’) informing him that the erection and maintenance of bus shelters in Chennai city was being dealt with by the MTCL and, therefore, he should approach the said authority. It was contended before the High Court that it was obligation of the Corporation to provide bus shelters for the convenience of commuters. It was averred that initially various bus stops were identified and allotted on first come, first serve basis and consequently for the successful tenderer, permission was also granted to erect shelters under the royalty scheme. The writ petitioner had submitted an application to the respondent Corporation for allotment of specified location for establishment of shelters but the same did not evoke any response. The reminders also fell on deaf ears. Being aggrieved by the said non-response, he had approached the High Court in W.P. No. 26890/2003 seeking a direction to the Corporation to consider his representation and the High Court had directed the Corporation to pass appropriate orders on the representation within a specific period. Pursuant to the order passed by the High Court, the Corporation on 7.11.2003 him that the construction and maintenance of a shelter in Chennai city was being dealt by the MTCL. At that juncture, MTCL invited tenders which constrained him to file the writ petition assailing the said order….read more