SONARIGHAT PUBLIC FERRY OWNERS ASSOCIATION Vs. STATE OF ASSAM AND OTHERS
LAWS(GAU)-1994-12-22
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Decided on December 14,1994

Sonarighat Public Ferry Owners Association Appellant
VERSUS
State of Assam and Others Respondents

JUDGEMENT

V. Dutta Gyani, J. - (1.)Heard Mr. RP Sarma, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. Medhi, learned counsel for the respondent Nos. 4 and 5. By this petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution the petitioner seeks to challenge the settlement of ferry in favour of respondent Nos. 4 and 5 on the ground that it was a closely guarded secret settlement without making it public.
(2.)Mr. Medhi, learned counsel referring to Rule 4 of the Assam Inland Water Control Management Ferry Rules, 1966 submitted that the Rule provided for settlement of ferries by private negotiation.
(3.)The term of settlement has come to close within a period of months and learned counsel appearing for the petitioner also agrees that for this short period he would not press for cancellation of the ferry settled in favour of respondent Nos. 4 and 5, so far as settlement of ferries by private negotiation is concerned even though Rules provided for such settlement the concept of open Government operate in the matter of such settlement. It should be a matter guarded secret excluding other prospective bidders. This scope of interference in such contractual matters extremely narrow and limited. This Court can not go into the minute of decision as the terms or negotiation were carried on, it is only in respect of exclusion of prospective bidders or in patent breach of Rules governing the ferry that such petition can be entertained. However, considering some other allegations made by the petitioner it needs be impressed upon the authorities concerned that even if it is a matter of settlement of ferries by private negotiation or on parlays the same must be made before other prospective contractors interested in bidding also come forward for negotiation.


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