Executive function discharged without jurisdiction struck down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court - P.H. Paul Manoj Pandian ... Appellant Versus Mr. P. Veldurai ... Respondent - CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4129 OF 2009 Date: 13.4.2011 http://indiankanoon.org/doc/642518/
21. Normally, the Superintending Engineer would be competent to terminate the contracts when breach of the terms and conditions is committed by a contractor. However, in the present case the court finds that the contracts were to be brought to an abrupt end because the respondent was intending to contest the election. Such an eventuality was never contemplated under the contracts and the contracts entered into by the respondent with the Government could have been terminated only as per the terms and conditions stipulated in Government Order dated November 16, 1951. Therefore, neither the Divisional Engineer had authority to terminate the contracts nor the Superintending Engineer had any authority to terminate the contracts. Thus, the action of the Superintending Engineer in ratifying the cancellation of the contracts made by the Divisional Engineer is of no consequence.
22. The net result of the above discussion is that on the date of submission of nomination papers by the respondent as well as on the date of scrutiny of the nomination papers, the contracts entered into by the respondent with the Government were subsisting and, therefore, the respondent was disqualified from filing the nomination papers and contesting the election. The respondent having incurred disqualification under the provisions of Section 9A of the Act, his election will have to be declared to be illegal.
An ordinary person is given authority by law to function in a position to discharge specified responsibility. Whatever done beyond the authority does not have the sanction of law and some times could even be viewed as usurpation of power.
Even if this defect is found out at the time of departmental review, the remedy lies only with the Supreme Court.
We are to be aware that when we act beyond our jurisdiction, though it may at first sight appear as doing a favour to the party, at hind sight we may realize that it caused irreparable damage. Moreover we unwittingly hang a Damocles’ sword over our own official chair. RIIF