Decided on June 25,1973

Orin Moyong Appellant
Secretary To Government Of Assam And Others Respondents


P.K. Goswami, C.J. - (1.) THIS application under Article 226 of the Constitution is directed against an order of the Secretary to the Government of Assam. Transport Department, settling the Dibru -Kachari -Oriumghat Ferry for the year 1973 -74 in favour of M/s. Parghat Kaibarta Meen Silpa Samabay Ltd. Dehmaji, the 5th respondent
(2.) THE petitioner is a member of the scheduled Tribe (Adi) and is a permanent resident of Pasighat in the district of Siang within the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh. In pursuance of a tender notice dated 2nd January, 1973 inviting tenders for settlement of a number of ferries including the Dibru -Kachari -Oriumghat Ferry for the year 1973 -74, the petitioner submitted his tender offering a sum of Rs. 56,551/ - covering the entire period. The 5th respondent also submitted a tender offering a sum of Rs. 52.775/ - for the entire period. There were other tenderers as well. The petitioner's offer was the highest The Executive Engineer. Inland Water Transport Division, Gauhati, the 3rd respondent, was the officer to conduct the sale, and after considering all the tenders he provisionally settled the ferry with the petitioner at the highest tendered amount. After the provisional settlement by the 3rd respondent, all papers in connection with the settlement of the ferry were sent to the Director of Inland Water Transport and Shir Surveyor, briefly 'the Director' 2nd respondent, who. in turn, forwarded his recommendation and other relevant papers to the Secretary to the Govt. of Assam. Transport Dept. briefly 'the Secretary", the 1st respondent for approval - After communication of the provisional acceptance of his tender., the petitioner deposited the first kist money amounting to Rs. 14.137.75. In due course, the Secretary settled the ferry with the 5th respondent at its tendered amount of Rs. 52,775/ - by his order dated 23rd March, 1973. Hence this writ application. It is common case of the parties that the settlement of the ferry in this case is governed by the Control and Management of Ferries Rules, 1968, briefly 'the Rules'. Although originally in his application, the petitioner challenged the validity of Rule 19 (b) of the Rules, he has abandoned this point when making his submissions before us. We, will, therefore, assume that the Rules are valid for the purpose of this case.
(3.) THE learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the Secretary in accepting the settlement of the 5th respondent, contrary to the recommendations of the Director, failed to comply with Rule 19 (b) of the Rules, in not recording any reasons for disapproval of the highest tender provisionally accepted by the conducting officer and by the Director. The learned Counsel for the State produced the records before us at the time of hearing of this application and drew our attention to a note of the Secretary to the Minister, Transport, on 16th March, 1973, which may be quoted in extenso; Minister, Transport Notes from pre pages The highest tender of Rs. 56.551/ - was received from Shri Orin Moyong. a tribal from Arunachal and he is the present lessee of the ferry and his bid was Rs. 38,111/ - last year. In view of his past experience and his bid being the highest the ferry may be settled with him. For orders. It does not appear what passed between the Minister. Transport and the Secretary after this note had been placed before the former. But we find another note by the Secretary after a week on 22nd March, 1973, which may as well be quoted in extenso: Minister Transport. The highest bidder is Shri Orin Moyong with a bid of Rs. 56,551.00 and provisional settlement is made by Executive Engineer. I. W. T. Division, Gauhati with Shri Moyong. But the following facts are considered. That Shri Orin Moyong is not a native of Assam and his lands are not within this State. There is no guarantor in the State for his landed property or in Union Territory. Further his landed certificate lacks detail. His case cannot be considered. The 2nd highest bidder is Pasighat Co -operative General Store of Arunachal which is a outside the State party. Their tender money is Rs. 56,000.00. Further it is a Govt. store and their detail bye -laws etc. are not furnished and is rejected. The 3rd bidder is Malik & Co.. Dibrugarh. whose bid is Rs. 55,551 -00 and cannot be accepted for reasons stated against their tender offered for Sadia -Saikhowa ferry service. The 4th bidder is Parghat Kaiborfa Meen Silpa Samabay Ltd., Dehmaji with a bid of Rs. 52.775.00. It is a fully scheduled caste co -operative and deserve 10% rebate over the highest bidder. Their documents are complete. The final settlement may be made with them. The 5th bidder is Ramprasad Das with a bid of Rs. 45,678.69 - He is a present lessee also but his case not considered because of low offer. Placed for approval. The Minister approved the suggestion on 23rd March. 1973.;

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