Calcutta High Court Decides in Favor of Contractor as He Accidentally Pays an Excessively High Amount

Introduction

The present writ petition has been filed for a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondents to revoke the Petitioner’s offer as the excessively high amount was paid by accident. The Court decided that Respondents must revoke the offer of the petitioners with immediate effect.

Facts of the Case 

The Petitioner Amar Nath Sah is a civil contractor enlisted as Class “D” contractor since 2010 under the Respondent authorities and runs a sole proprietorship business under the name and style of “Sri Amar Nath Sah”. The Petitioner participated in a Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) issued by the Respondent. The Respondent authorities opened the financial bid of the Petitioner on October 10, 2019. The Petitioner claims that, while placing its financial bid online, the Petitioner accidentally committed a mathematical error and gave a credit of Rs. 23,71,600 instead of Rs. 4620/-, due to which the bid of the Petitioner totalled Rs. 5,50,533.40 . For which he immediately sent a letter asking for revocation but no actions were taken regarding the same 

Arguments made on behalf of the Petitioner

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Learned counsel for the Petitioner argues that the said provision scrutinizes revocation of its offer by the lowest bidder after the closing of bid submission date and time, upon which its offer would be treated as revoked and the earnest money deposited by it deprived. Furthermore, it is stated that the letters of the Respondent, allegedly dated October 10, 2019, were all posted only on October 21, 2019, that is, long after the revocation of the Petitioner on October 10, 2019, itself, immediately upon realization of its bona fide error on the date of opening of the financial bid.

Arguments made on behalf of the Respondent

Learned counsel for the Respondent stated that the Petitioner’s offer was already accepted on the day on which the financial bid was opened, that is, on October 10, 2019, concluding the contract between the parties before it was revoked. Hence, there was no further scope for revocation of the offer. They further state that the deposit of earnest money has to be simultaneous with the submission of the bid/documents, and does not apply to MES enlisted contractors.

Decision of the Court

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After examining the arguments presented by both sides and the evidence provided the Court decided that the Respondents acted illegally in proceeding to issue the three letters dated October 10, 2019, and the subsequent communication dated November 2, 2019, and in issuing the letter dated November 14, 2019, to the Petitioners and directed the Respondents to revoke the offer of the Petitioners with immediate effect.

Click here to view the Judgement.


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