Decided on September 12,2019

Esquire Express And Courier Service Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


SANJAY KAROL,J. - (1.)The sole issue which arises for consideration in the present petition as to whether parties by an agreement can oust jurisdiction of other Courts by conferring it to a particular place otherwise having jurisdiction.
(2.)In the instant petition, petitioners lay challenge to Communication dated 02.01.2018, issued by the Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway, Lumding Division, Lumding, a place falling within the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court of Guwahati, State of Assam.
(3.)The crux of the matter being that vide Notice Inviting Tender (in short, NIT) dated 24.07.2017, the Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway, Lumding Division invited proposals for running the Parcel Cargo Express Train (in short, PCET) in relation to which petitioners submitted their tender as also deposited earnest money amounting to ?50,00,000. The route on which the PCET was to run was from Agartala - (falling within the State of Tripura) Silchar - Chitpur (falling within the State of Assam) - Sakur Basti via Bareilly, Lucknow, Varanasi (falling within the State of Uttar Pradesh). The tender submitted by the petitioners was found not to be compliant and as such not considered favourably. However, the Railway authorities did not refund the amount of earnest money so deposited, for certain amounts were due from the petitioners as Demurrage Charges/Undercharges in relation to another PCET tender No.C/17 of 2012 dated 25.09.2012 of route Guwahati to Patel Nagar under execution by the petitioners. Since they failed to pay the same, the amount deposited as security deposit was withheld, which action was made known vide communication dated 02.01.2018 subsequent matter of challenge in the present petition.

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