KHUMANTHEM KHELENDRO SINGH Vs. STATE OF MANIPUR
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
Khumanthem Khelendro Singh
STATE OF MANIPUR
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(1.) Heard Shri T. Rejendro, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioner; Shri Momota Oinam, learned Addl. Advocate assisted by Ms. Beedyasaree M., learned Advocate appearing for the State respondents, Shri K. Rabei, learned Advocate appearing for the private respondent and Ms. N. Savitri, learned Advocate appearing for the Chief Engineer.
(2.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioner has prayed for issuing a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ to quash and set aside the letter dated 27-12-2017 issued by the Executive Engineer, Tamanglong Division, PWD, Manipur.
(3.) Facts and circumstances as narrated in the writ petition, are that the petitioner is a contractor and has been doing the execution of contract works awarded to him by the State respondents with utmost sincerity and dedication. Taking into consideration of his sincere and dedicated efforts, he has been designated as the special class contractor in the year, 2013.
3.2. In response to an invitation of tenders for the work of improvement of road from Noney to Marangching (Railway Project Road) SH-Shingling 4.85 Kms and Constructions of 900 mm dia RCC Pipe Culvert NP 3-7.5 Rm-40 Nos (hereinafter referred to as 'the work '), the petitioner submitted his tender. After his tender being accepted, the petitioner was awarded the said work vide order dated 30-03-2016 issued by the Executive Engineer, Tamenglong Division, PWD, Manipur. The estimated cost of the work was Rs.2,60,46,240/- (Rupees two crore sixty lakhs forty six thousand two hundred and forty) only and the time allowed for its execution, was twelve months which was to be reckoned from 06- 04-2016. As per the schedule of the work, the same is divided into two phases.
3.3. The petitioner immediately started executing first phase of the work by hiring a large number of skilled and unskilled workers numbering about 35 and used heavy machineries like Road Roller, Tata trucks and others for the execution of the said work. According to him, he completed about 70% of the work in respect of the 1st phase spending about Rs.85,70,714/- (Rupees eighty five lakhs seventy thousand seven hundred and fourteen) only.
3.4. The petitioner was very much interested in completion of the said work within twelve months but due to certain reasons beyond his control, he could not complete it. Some of the reasons as stated in the petition, are that the execution could not immediately be started due to objections raised by the villagers for non-payment of their compensation towards their affected lands; that there was a heavy rainfall in the year, 2016-2017 and that there was a continuous economic blockade extending for some months which ended only in the month of March, 2017.
3.5. The respondent No.5, the Section Officer, Sub-Division-V, Tamenglong Division, PWD, Manipur was to make entries in the measurement book for the works executed by the petitioner but he failed to do that in spite of the repeated requests being made by him. However, the petitioner received a letter dated 27-12-2017 from the Executive Engineer, Tamenglong Division, PWD, Manipur stating that the agreement towards the said work had been rescinded and consequently, the security deposit of the petitioner stood absolutely forfeited to the State Government. The reason given in the letter dated 27-12-2017 was that the petitioner had failed to complete the work within the stipulated time and he did not reply to the show cause notices dated 12-01-2017 and 19-07-2017. The petitioner did not receive personally any of the said show cause notices as he was/ is staying at Paona Bazar, Imphal which is known to the respondents.
3.6. The petitioner learnt from the reliable sources that the work had been awarded to another contractor and the amount for the 1st phase for which the petitioner had completed about 70% thereof, would be released to the new contractor and that the name of the new Contractor was not disclosed by the State respondents. Being aggrieved by the said letter dated 27-12-2017 issued by the Executive Engineer, the instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioner on the inter-alia grounds that the letter dated 27-12-2017 issued by the Executive Engineer was in violation of the principle of natural justice; that the various clauses as contained in the booklet called "General Conditions of Contract for Public Works Department, Government of Manipur " had not been followed while issuing the letter dated 27-12-2017 and that the petitioner had been deprived of the money spent by him towards the execution of the work in part. ;
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