Any order adversely affecting third party cannot be passed: Jammu & Kashmir High Court

Any order which adversely affects the third party, cannot be passed. The Court can order the respondent to pay compensation to the petitioner but cannot pass any order in the favor of the petitioner which adversely affects or causes any loss to the third party involved in the case. This assertion was made by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court presided by J. Sanjeev Kumar in the case of M/S Zahoor and Company vs. UT of Jammu & Kashmir and othrs [WPC 2077/2020].

In the instant case, on behalf of Lieutenant Governor J&K UT, invited e-tenders (in two cover systems) from approved and eligible contractors registered with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, CPWD, etc. for the work of construction of residential flats at Pampore Srinagar Block 1,2 and 3. The estimated cost of Rs. 1313.50 lacs and within a period of 550 days. Simultaneously with the aforesaid NIT, the respondent invited similar e-tenders on the same terms and conditions for the work of construction of residential flats at Pampore Srinagar, Block 4, 5, and 6. Since the bid of the single tenderer was found responsive, as such, a decision was taken by the respondents to invite fresh tenders for the said works. Again the petitioner being a single responsive tenderer was not considered yet again. In the aforesaid backdrop, the respondent invited fresh tenders this time reducing the quantum of work. The fresh tender was for the construction of flats Block 1 and Block 2 and the estimated cost of Rs. 942.05 lacs. The time of completion was fixed as 425 days. The petitioner was declared non-responsive. Two other contractors, M/S S. K. Integrated Consultants and M/S Muzaffar Ahmad Rather were declared responsive. It is this decision of the technical bid evaluation Committee, the petitioner is aggrieved of.

The honorable High court held that “This petition is disposed of by holding that the rejection of technical bid of the petitioner by the respondent was illegal, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. However, no relief is being granted to the petitioner for the reason that petitioner had been late in approaching the Court and guilty of allowing the tender process to proceed further as also suppressing from the Court that financial bid had already been opened and M/S Muzaffar Ahmad Rather had emerged successful. As a result whereof, 3rd party rights have come to be created. Any order passed in favor of the petitioner in this petition would adversely affect the successful tenderer M/S Muzaffar Ahmad Rather, who is not a party respondent in this petition. The petitioner, however, shall be at liberty to file a fresh petition arraying M/S Muzaffar Ahmad rather as party respondent or else claim compensation from the respondents for his wrongful exclusion from the tendering process and his participation in the price bid by availing appropriate remedy available under civil law.”

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