Madurai: Madras high court has dismissed the plea moved by Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) challenging the order passed by Micro and Small Enterprises Facilitation Council seeking its explanation about the amount pending disbursal to a private company.
Observing that the university was barking up the wrong tree, Justice V Parthiban said a writ court is not a proper forum to settle a dispute of this nature involving interpretation of contractual terms and agreement and adjudication of the rival claims.
MKU had in 2014 entered into an agreement with Coimbatore-based Set Infotect Pvt Ltd for creation of an e-learning portal and development of digital content for the directorate of distance education. On completion of the project stage-wise, the company forwarded the bills from time to time which were settled by the university.
In December 2020, the company issued a legal notice alleging non-payment of bills to the tune of Rs 5.35 crore and also non-refund of earnest money deposit amount of Rs 15 lakh. The university sent a detailed reply to the notice in January 2021. Pressing its claim, the company moved the MSEF council for adjudication of the dispute.
The council issued summons to the university which challenged it in the HC through the present petition.
Justice Parthiban observed that the court is unable to appreciate the filing of the writ petition by the university when the notice merely requests it to offer its remarks in response to the claim of the company.
The university was trying to convert the constitutional jurisdiction of the court into a court of inquiry or arbitration for adjudication of the factual controversies between the parties, and also for adjudication of the relevant terms of contractual agreement, he said.
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