A consumer court on Friday pulled up the Public Works Department (PWD) for cancelling the allotment of a shop for which it had invited tenders. The court was acting on a complaint filed by one Rajesh Vohra, a resident of GK-I. According to Vohra, he had paid the amount for the shop.
As per the allotment procedure, a letter is sent to the successful bidder within two weeks of the display of result on the PWD notice board. Vohra did not receive any intimation within the stipulated period. Instead, the PWD cancelled the allotment and forfeited the earnest money. Vohra then wrote to the PWD officials asking them to return the amount but he did not get any response for two years. He then took the matter to court.
PWD told the court that the delay happened, as there were some administrative issues. The court took a strong stand on the excuse of procedural delays by the authority. “Such delays on the part of government departments are a curse for society,” said Justice JD Kapoor.
The court directed the department to pay Vohra the entire amount of Rs 1,25,000 for the cancelled shop. PWD cited the contract and tried to explain its stand. It said that as per the contract, no person, whose tender has been accepted, has the right to withdraw the money on any grounds.
The court observed that it is sad the department did not look into their acts of omission and commission while they usurped the hard-earned money of the consumer illegally. The court also directed the department to pay Rs 30,000 as compensation and Rs 25,000 as cost of litigation that should be recovered from personal bank account or salaries of the officials concerned. “Otherwise the amount shall be recovered by auctioning their personal property,” the court said.