Jammu and Kashmir High Court Dismiss LPA Filed by a Contractor Seeking to Quash the New E-NIT

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On 27th July 2020, Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul heard the case of Pawan Kumar vs J & K Tourism Development Corporation Limited and others, via video-conferencing. The Court dismissed the present Letters Patents Appeal (LPA).

Facts of the Case

The appellant is a class A contractor who responded to the Tender Notice issued through E- NIT No. 14 (e-Notice Inviting Tender). The notice was about item No. 1 for renovation and up-gradation of existing infrastructure at Chichi Mata Ji Samba. The value of the tender was Rs 60.15 lakhs. The appellant emerged as the lowest tenderer offering a bid of Rs. 42,10,500.

The respondents cancelled the process initiated according to the said E- NIT. They communicated the same to the appellant on 29.05.2020. The communication stated that the work could not be finalized. Thus, the higher authority cancelled it as per the terms and condition No. 4 of B-NIT. The respondents issued a fresh E-NIT after cancelling the previous one.

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The appellant petitioned before the Writ Court for questioning the cancellation of the tender process. He also sought for quashing the fresh E-NIT. The Writ Court dismissed the petition. The aggrieved appellant filed LPA seeking reversal of Writ Court’s judgment.

Arguments of the parties

The learned counsel for the appellant stated that the respondents did not give reasons for cancellation. Hence, it has to be quashed. The issuance of fresh E-NIT aimed at depriving the appellant of executing the work as there was biasness. Thus, the Court should quash the E-NIT. Further, the impugned order of the Writ Court is not reasonable. Thus, it deserves to be set aside.

The learned counsel for the respondents argued that the respondents cancelled the tender process according to condition No. 4 of the E-NIT. Thus, the same is valid.

Court’s Analysis

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Court said that condition No. 4 is unambiguous. It stated that the bids for the work will remain valid for a period of 90 days from the date of opening of bids. 

It was further said that the applicant failed to approach the respondents for completing formalities within 90 days. Thus, the respondents had the authority to cancel the process under condition No. 4 of E-NIT. An inquiry about the tender process reveals that it reached its conclusion. Further, the allotment for the same is kept on hold because of the pendency of the present LPA.

Court’s Decision

The Court said that there is no legal infirmity attached to the impugned order of the Writ Court. The Writ Court has deliberated upon and dealt with all the aspects effectively. 

Thus, the Court declined any interference with the Writ.

Court’s Order 

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The Court said that the new E-NIT is processed and evaluated. It is not feasible to intervene with it and imperil the public interest. In view of the same, the Court dismissed the present Letters Patent Appeal. Therefore, the Court upheld the impugned order of the Writ Court.


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