The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Vs. MESCO Kalinga Steel Limited; Civil Appeal no. 2545/2017, decided on 14th February, 2017 held that renewal of lease is a privilege and if a tenant wishes to claim the privilege, he must do so strictly within the time limited for the purpose. Where however, there is no time limit, an application may be made within a reasonable time. If delay is on the part of lessee for renewal arising out of mere neglect on his part and which could have been avoided by reasonable diligence, would not entitle him to claim renewal.
The Supreme Court was considering a challenge by OIIDC against the order of the High Court, wherein directions were issued to execute a lease deed in favour of Respondent-MESCO. Considering the above mentioned principles, the Supreme Court held that on the facts of case, it is apparent that the conduct of Mesco was unfair and unpardonable. The conduct disentitled it from indulgence by Court in any manner. The Court was constrained to observe that a number of times the High Court had unnecessarily directed the matter to be reconsidered and on each and every occasion there was rejection of the representation by the concerned authorities. Thus, no equitable consideration was available with Mesco to invoke the writ jurisdiction for the reliefs sought. Relief granted is not permissible as per law. Mesco had no enforceable right for grant of any relief by mere handing over of possession.