Decided on November 05,2019

Chief Secretary Principal Secretary Commissioner Respondents


- (1.) Heard Shri B.P. Sahu, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the petitioners and Smt. Momota Oinam, learned Addl. Advocate General appearing for the respondents.
(2.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioners have prayed for issuing a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ to direct the respondents to pay/ release the outstanding bill amount as claimed by them i.e., Rs. 30,27,297/- (Rupees thirty lakhs twenty seven thousand two hundred and ninety seven).
(3.) According to the petitioners, they are the special contractors of the Electricity Department, Government of Manipur which has been converted into two companies - one, Manipur State Power Company Limited (hereinafter referred to as "the MSPCL ") and two, Manipur State Power Distribution Company Limited (hereinafter referred to as "the MSPDCL ") w.e.f. 01-02-2014 and both are headed by two different designated posts of the Managing Directors. Before the conversion of the Electricity Department into two companies, the Department was headed by the Chief Engineer (Power), Manipur. 3.2. Before the Electricity Department was converted into companies, the petitioners obtained the contract works from the Department of Electricity and its approvals were given by the Chief Engineer (Power), Manipur and the Additional Chief Engineer (Civil) under the delegation of financial powers. The contract works were successfully carried out by the petitioners within the time frame for which the completion certificates were submitted to the authorities in time. The works mainly done by the petitioners in civil divisions were constructions, flooring, plaster and repairing, etc. The aforesaid contract works were carried out in between the years, 2006 and 2008. The outstanding bill amounts of all the contractors were verified by the office of the then Chief Engineer (Power), Manipur which were mainly in relation to the office of the Executive Engineer (Civil) Division No.1. The liability and statements of the pending bills were signed by the Chief Engineer; the Additional Chief Engineer; the Superintending Engineer and the Executive Engineer. The total pending bill for both the plan and non-plan was about Rs.37,87,762/- (Rupees thirty seven lakhs eighty seven thousand seven hundred and sixty two), out of which part payments had been made and the remaining bill amount was Rs.30,27,297/- (Rupees thirty lakhs twenty seven thousand two hundred and ninety seven). On account of the said non-payment of the outstanding bills, the petitioners approached the Hon 'ble High Court by way of a writ petition being WP(C) No.491 of 2016 and while the said writ petition was pending, an application was filed by the petitioners praying for a direction to the respondents to pay/ release the claimed amount of Rs.30,27,297/- only. The said application was disposed of on 19-10-2018 directing the respondents to consider the claim of the applicants/ petitioners in terms of the order passed by the Full Bench of the Hon 'ble Gauhati High Court on 29-09-2008 in writ petition being WP(C) No 2277 of 2008. 3.3. The said order dated 19-10-2016 passed by this court was furnished to the respondents along with a legal notice dated 22-10-2016 being served through their counsel. Some information was sought for by the authorities which was duly furnished by the petitioners and the respondents did not find any mistake from their side but no payment was made without assigning any reason which compelled the petitioners to file a contempt petition and while it was pending, the State Government in its budget for the year 2018-2019 granted Rs.3 crore for paying outstanding bill in complying with the various orders of this Court. On the basis of the said budget provisions, this Court passed an order dated 15-03-2018 directing the respondents to issue compliance order within a period of three months therefrom. In spite of this Court 's order directing the respondents to release the amount, the State respondents did not obey it which compelled the petitioners to file a second contempt petition in which the counsel appearing the Managing Director, MSPCL produced an office report dated 04-09-2018 to contend that it was not in a position to be able to make the payment as no necessary/ specific budgetary provision was reflected for such payment and on the basis of the said order passed by the Managing Director, the contempt case was closed. Being aggrieved by the non-payment of bills, the instant writ petition has been filed by the petitioners ;

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