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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Road tender: HP high court directs PWD to issue approval to bid application

The court directed the petitioner that after clearance, as per the tender notification, he shall complete the work and report compliance to the court within six months

chandigarh Updated: Oct 17, 2019 23:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla

The Himachal Pradesh (HP) high court on Thursday directed the public works department (HPPWD) to issue necessary certificate and approval to the bid application made by bidder and petitioner Mohammad Jaseem, whose tender was cancelled without assigning any reason as per the terms and conditions of the tender notification regarding to the case of alleged mala fide in awarding tender by the PWD to construct a link road to Bakrala village in HPPWD division, Nahan in the Sirmaur district.

The court directed the petitioner that after clearance, as per the tender notification, he shall complete the work and report compliance to the court within six months.

 A division bench comprising Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary passed the orders on a writ petition filed by  Jaseem, a resident of the Sirmaur district.

 It has been alleged in the petition that the engineer-in-chief, PWD, floated tenders for estimated cost of ₹46,94,132 for the construction of 4km-long link road to Bakarla village.

Jaseem has averred that he is a successful bidder as he had quoted the lowest bid amounting to ₹18, 17,172 against the sanctioned estimated cost  of ₹46,94,132, but the executive engineer, instead of awarding the tender in his favour, cancelled the tender process.

The petitioner has alleged mala fide against the respondent. The grouse of the petitioner is that the said cancellation is on politically motivated grounds just to help out another person and that though, he has offered to complete the work for almost ₹19 lakh against the estimated cost of almost ₹47 lakh, but without assigning any reason, the same has been cancelled.  The petitioner has prayed to issue directions to the respondents to accept the bid offered by the petitioner.

In reply to the aforesaid petition, the additional advocate general stated that there is no foundation for alleging mala fide against the PWD since the tender notification was floated through e-auction process and the said process was cancelled on valid grounds.

He submitted that keeping in view the past experiences, namely the incompletion of work executed by the contractors like the petitioner, his bid application for the latest tender has been rejected. However, the court after going through the material placed on record, which are terms and conditions stipulated in the tender notification, acceptable to the petitioner and the calculation chart regarding completion of entire work by the petitioner within the time less than the stipulated period of six months,  said that though the court has its own reservations about the technicalities of the tender notification, but in order to examine the veracity of the petitioner, it is inclined to direct the respondents to accept the bid of the petitioner.

The court reiterated that though, it is not having the technical knowledge and only an experts’ body has to accept or reject a tender application, but, on the face of it, since the petitioner has submitted that what was estimated by the state instrumentalities for the construction of the road, is on the higher side lacking pragmatic calculations and if it could be done for almost ₹19 lakh.

To assess the progress made by the petitioner, the court posted the matter in the first week of January, 2020.