TAMIL NADU

Government told to refund money collected for granting fishing rights

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Dismissing an appeal moved by the State, Justice Prabha Sridevan of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday ruled that the Government was bound to refund the amount collected for granting fishing rights to an individual in Tirunelveli district during 1991-92, since there was no water in the pond owing to monsoon failure.

"Clause won't apply"

Though the written agreement had a clause that "the amount shall not be refunded if the lessee is unable to fish in the pond owing to natural causes," it would not apply in his case because the contract became void on account of non-performance, she said.

The judge said Section 56 of the Indian Contract Act contemplated that a contract stood void if the functions to be carried out under it became impossible for inevitable reasons.

Moreover, Section 65 states: "When a contract becomes void, any person who has received any advantage under such agreement or contract is bound to restore it, or to make compensation for it, to the person from whom he received it."