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If the initial action is not in consonance with law, all subsequent proceedings would fall since the illegality strikes at the root of the order: High Court of Manipur

The instant writ petition as regards the legality of the constitution of the Contractor Enlistment Committee can be said to be not maintainable. Such an opinion was held by The Hon’ble High Court of Manipur before The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kh. Nobin Singh in the matter of Contractor’s Association, RIMS Vs. Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and ors. [W.P. (C) No. 449 of 2021 ].

The facts of the case were associated with a challenge in this writ petition against the notice issued by the Consultant Engineer (Civil), RIMS. The petitioner party stated that the contractors enlisted by the RIMS formed an association. The motive of the petitioner association was to promote and maintain the quality standards of the Health Department, Manipur by executing contract works to the satisfaction of the RIMS authority. They have been executing different types of contract works and were still continuing to do so. Respondent no. 3 issued a notice where amongst many things it was stated that the existing enlisted contractors of the RIMS including the members of the petitioner association ought to apply for revalidation; leading the petitioner association to file such Writ Petition. 

It was contended that such colourable exercise of power by any authority was impermissible and was patently absurd and untenable in the eyes of law. Moreover, the time period mentioned therein for revalidation was too short in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The affidavit filed by the opposition stated that the RIMS authority had extended the time period for the submission of relevant documents. It was also stated that the petitioner was only aggrieved about the time period for submission of their relevant documents on the ground of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further in an affidavit, it was submitted that the rules were modified which were dishonest attempts to cover the faulty regulation behind the back of this Court. All the submissions and pleadings brought forth two issues. One was the legality of the constitution of the Contractor Enlistment Committee and another was relating to the validity and correctness of the notice dated 08-06-2021 issued by the Consultant Engineer (Civil), RIMS.

After considering all the submissions The Hon’ble Court stated that “In view of the above and for the reasons stated hereinabove, the instant writ petition is devoid of any merit and is accordingly dismissed with no order as to costs. The interim order passed by this Court stands vacated. However, it is made clear that it is open to the RIMS to consider and take a decision, in the event of any representation being submitted by an aggrieved person praying for extension of time, on its own merit either to extend the time period or not to extend it.”

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Judgment reviewed by Bipasha Kundu

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