Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court has refused to entertain a plea by licenced stall owners to declare as illegal the decision of the TS Road Transport Corporation to compel them to sell water bottles only of the Bisleri brand at bus stations.
Justice A.V. Sesha Sai was dismissing a batch of petitions by the licenced stall owners in bus stations of the state challenging a circular issued by the TSRTC on December 12, 2016 directing them to sell only Bisleri brand of water in the stations by purchasing the water from a local distributor nominated by it.
The petitioners told the court that they were selling branded water bottles of various recognised and reputed companies at MRP since the commencement of the licence period of their respective stalls. They said that the TSRTC was compelling them to purchase bottles at rates higher than in the market.
The TSRTC told the court that in view of several complaints received from passengers regarding the quality of water and as regards charging of higher rates, it has decided to enter into business partnership with a reputed firm and invited open tenders. Bisleri emerged as successful bidder.
The judge after perusing the conditions of the licence, pointed out that the stall owners had agreed to sell only the items indicated in the deeds of licence, as such, they cannot maintain the writ petitions to seek relief for avoiding the same.
The judge said that in view of the express clauses in the tender notifications and the deeds of licences, specifying the respective businesses to be carried on by the licencees, the contention that the tender notification did not mention that the Corporation would not permit every stall owner to sell the water bottles, as such, there cannot be any restriction, does not have any merit.
The judge granted one month to the licencees, other than the licensees authorized to sell the water bottles, to clear their stock of the water....