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Canceling the previous tender without providing opportunity to the petitioner becomes bad: Odisha High Court

This Judgment was delivered by the single bench comprising Hon’ble Chief Justice Mr. Mohammad Rafiq & Hon’ble Justice Biswanath Rath of Odisha High Court in the matter of Pravakar Behera v. P.C.Chhinchani, [W.P.(Civil) No.2293 of 2020].

This is a writ petition filed by the petitioners, a private firm; seeking interference of this Court in the tender notice dated 06.01.2020 at Annexure-4 further also praying for issuing writ of mandamus to the opposite party to allow the petitioners to execute the work under Annexure-2 series and Annexure-3 series.

Short background involving the case is that opposite party floated tender notice No.2912 dated 08.08.2018 inviting percentage rate bids on online mode for execution of certain works as specified in the table therein. It is contended that in the tender notice dated 08.08.2018, bids from eligible contractors were invited for execution of 22 numbers of works involving Jeypore Municipality, reference of which is made through Annexure-1. Further plea goes to disclose that the petitioner no.1 participated in the tender and its bid found to be competitive and responsive, petitioner no.1 was awarded with the work on deposit of initial security in respect of all works specified in the table. An agreement for execution of work in question was signed involving 22 numbers of works. The petitioner no.1, as required, also deposited the E.M.D. as well as initial security amount against each work before execution of the work. It is here alleged that the opposite party has taken back the work order in respect of Item Nos.1, 3, 16 and 19, on the ground that the estimated cost in respect of these three works was since more than fifteen lakhs for which approval of the Collector, Koraput was necessary. Withdrawing the work order, as it appears, the petitioner no.1 was advised to wait till the approval of the higher authority is obtained. It is stated that out of 22 numbers of works, petitioners claimed to have completed all other works except work under Item Nos.1, 3, 16 and 19. It is claimed that while the petitioner no.1 was continuing in his efforts, he came to notice that the opposite party has already cancelled the tender in respect of above items but without any notice.

Petitioner alleged that it has also come to notice that opposite party in the meanwhile even invited fresh tender in respect of work including some other works involving tender call notice entering into a tender call notice dated 06.01.2020. Challenging the fresh tender call notice vide Annexure-4, Sri P.Behera, learned counsel for the petitioners contended that there is no reason attributed to the petitioner in cancellation of the earlier tender notice in respect of rest of the works. Learned counsel for the petitioners thus claimed that such cancellation is arbitrary and unreasonable. It is in the above premises, Sri Behera, learned counsel for the petitioners contended that the opposite party is going to fresh tender without having any valid reason depriving the petitioners from completing the work involved therein becomes bad. It is also alleged that the fresh tender notice has been issued in haste and 4 there is no intimation of estimated cost in the list of work and as such tender notice, impugned herein, otherwise also becomes contrary to codal provision of the Government. It is also urged that canceling the previous tender without providing opportunity to the petitioner becomes bad.

After examining all the submissions, arguments and evidences forwarded by the councils, the hon’ble HC observed that, “In the result, the writ petition stands dismissed for having no merit with vacation of interim order dated 22.01.2020. In the circumstances there is no order as to cost. As restrictions are still continuing due to the pandemic Covid-19, learned counsel may utilize the soft copy of this judgment available in the High Court’s Official website or print out thereof at par with certified copies in the manner prescribed, vide Court’s Notice No.4587 dated 25.03.2020.”

 

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