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Arithmetic error makes Courts reduce costs imposed: Delhi High Court

The cost imposed on parties in earlier judgement was reduced by the High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE VIPIN SANGHI in the case of CJDARCL LOGISTICS LTD.Vs. RITES LTD AND ORS. (Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.10369 of 2021)

FACTS OF THE CASE: Brief facts of the case are as follows; The Court’s judgment comes in a tender dispute between two companies, where the petitioner company had alleged that the erring company concealed facts related to its disqualification and obtained the tender on fraudulent means. The tender was issued by RITES Ltd, a government of India Enterprise and a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 that is directly under the control of the Ministry of Railways for engagement of freight forwarders for transportation of export projects. In its June 1 verdict, the Court held that the firm had concealed facts regarding its blacklisting, which was declared an L-1 bidder for a government project. The costs imposed by a Division Bench of the Court in its judgment dated June 1 had imposed a fine of about ₹12.5 croreswhich the was to be utilised towards the construction of a smog tower in the capital.

JUDGEMENT:

After reviewing the submissions of both sides, the judge The Delhi High Court has corrected an arithmetical error in its judgment and reduced the costs imposed on a private firm named SARR Freight Corporation from ₹12.5 crores to ₹1.21 crore.However, after correcting the error, the same bench has now said that since the cost imposed is too little, it will be used for different purposes.“The amount that respondent No.3 would plough back would be 10% of the amount mentioned above, i.e. Rs.1,21,49,821/-. Since the amount as mentioned earlier would be highly inadequate to meet the purpose for which we directed the amount to be utilised, namely for setting up of a Smog Tower, we direct the respondent No.3 to deposit the said amount in this Court within six weeks,” the order dated June 3 stated.The order was passed on an application moved by the errant company stating that the entire contract value of the project was around ₹12-15 crores. It stated that the reference/mention of the figure of ₹125 crores in its counter-affidavit related to the value of the consignment of the railway coaches, which had been lifted by the cranes made available under the contract in question.The Court thus corrected its error and said that the costs imposed will be 10% of ₹12.15 crore.The money recovered from the firm will now be used by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority, Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee, Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund and the Indigent and Disabled Lawyers Committee.

Judgement reviewed by – Abhinav Paul Mathew

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