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Sikkim High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Meenakshi Madan Rai, J. addressed an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Facts of the case were that the petitioners had a shop on the first floor of “non-veg” building for the purpose of selling fish, dressed chicken and mutton. The petitioners were aggrieved by the fact that the respondents were opening a shop on the ground floor with same products having the same price. The ground on which respondents’ license was challenged was that it would hamper similar business being run by the petitioner on the first floor as a customer would prefer to buy from the ground floor then go to the first floor for the same product at the same price.

The petitioners contended that the stalls allotted to the respondents had been earmarked for construction of toilets for use of the vendors, workers and the customers of the said building but had instead been allotted to the respondents without adherence to the tender process. In furtherance of their contention, the petitioners added that the government had assured the construction of toilets which estopped the State from allotting stalls and license to private respondents.

The High Court was of the view that the petitioners could not seek to restrain private respondents from carrying business for their livelihood. The doctrine of promissory estoppel was not applicable as any document to show assurance of government to build toilets was not found. If requisite conditions were fulfilled then the respondents could not be stopped from getting licenses for selling meat. Therefore, the writ petition was dismissed. [Dawa Phuti Bhutia v. State of Sikkim, 2018 SCC OnLine Sikk 226, dated 02-11-2018]