10 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

K. Kumara Gupta Vs Sri Markendaya and Sri Omkareswara Swamy Temple & Ors.

MANU/SC/0213/2022

18.02.2022

Contract

Unless there are allegations of fraud or collusion, the highest offer received in the public auction is to be accepted as a fair value

Appeal is filed by the auction purchaser against the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court by which the High Court has directed the authorities concerned to conduct a re-auction of the entire properties by fixing the upset price higher than what has been fixed earlier.

Once the Appellant was found to be the highest bidder in a public auction in which 45 persons had participated and thereafter when the sale was confirmed in his favour and even the sale deed was executed, unless and until it was found that there was any material irregularity and/or illegality in holding the public auction and/or auction/sale was vitiated by any fraud or collusion, it is not open to set aside the auction or sale in favour of a highest bidder on the basis of some representations made by third parties, who did not even participate in the auction proceedings and did not make any offer. There are no allegations of fraud and/or collusion.

Under normal circumstances, unless there are allegations of fraud and/or collusion and/or cartel and/or any other material irregularity or illegality, the highest offer received in the public auction may be accepted as a fair value. Otherwise, there shall not be any sanctity of a public auction.

In the facts and circumstances of the case, the Division Bench of the High Court ought not to have passed an order for re-auction of the property after a period of 23 years from the date of auction/sale to the detriment of the rights of the Appellant who was the successful bidder in the auction sale.

The impugned judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court is unsustainable and is accordingly quashed and set aside. The judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge is restored. Appeals allowed.

Tags : Re-auction Direction Legality

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