INDIAN OIL CORPORATION LIMITED Vs. SOUTH KASHMIR PETROLEUM DEALERS ASSOCIATION
LAWS(J&K)-2020-9-19
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Decided on September 03,2020

INDIAN OIL CORPORATION LIMITED Appellant
VERSUS
South Kashmir Petroleum Dealers Association Respondents




JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This petition has been filed under Article-227 of the Constitution of India seeking quashing of order of Sub-Judge, Pulwama dated 04.07.2020 extending the time for fulfilling the conditions of Expression of Interest (EOI) and raises a question whether a decree of permanent prohibitory injunction could be passed by a Civil Court for grant of following reliefs:-
"a)...That a decree for declaration declaring the tender notice bearing EOI No. PSO/OPS/EO1/(MS-HSD)/Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh locations bearing tender ID no. 2020PSO113260, ineffective, inoperative, illegal, unfair and detrimental to the interest of the plaintiffs and other RO dealers operating in South Kashmir;

b) That a decree for permanent injunction restraining the defendants from competing the tender process till life returns to normalcy from COVID-19, with a further direction to the defendants to continue with the arrangements for transporting of petroleum products as per the allotment of 2014 which is in vogue till date, be passed in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants."

(2.)The suit was filed by the plaintiffs/respondents herein alongwith an application for grant of interim relief. The Trial Court/Sub-Judge (CJM)", Pulwama vide order dated 20.05.2020, while directing issue of notice to the defendants also directed that the impugned order inviting tender shall remain in abeyance. But after the defendants /petitioners herein appeared and filed their written statements as well as objections, the order dated 20.05.2020 was modified vide order dated 04.07.2020 by directing as under :-
"therefore, arguments advanced by ld counsel for the applicants seems to be just, proper and appealing to the extent of extension of time, hence application to that extent is allowed hence interim order dated 20.05.2020 is modified to the extent that non-applicants are directed to extend three months more time to the applicants for fulfilling the condition of EOI in question from the date of this order keeping into account peculiar and unhealthy circumstances of the South Kashmir."

(3.)The petitioners have challenged this order on the following grounds:-
'i) that the order is against the mandate of law laid down by the Supreme Court in 'Tata Cellular Vs. Union of India, 1994 6 SCC 651' holding that;

"Before interfering in tender or contractual matter, the Court in exercise of its powers of judicial review should pose to itself the following questions:

(a) Whether the process adopted or decision made by the authority is mala fide or intended to favour someone or whether the process adopted or decision made is so arbitrary or irrational that the Court can say that the decision is such that no responsible authority acting reasonably and in accordance with relevant law could have reached;

(b) Whether the public interest affects, if the answer is in the negative, there should be no interference under Article-226 of the Constitution and judicial review it appears is always to test the grievance under Article 14 of the constitution."

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