M L MAHAJAN Vs. CHIEF ENGINEERRAVI TAWI IRRIGATION COMPLEX
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
CHIEF ENGINEER, RAVI TAWI IRRIGATION COMPLEX
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I.K.Kotwal, J. -
(1.) Controversy in this writ petition lies in a narrow compass.
(2.) The firm Messrs Mahajan and Co. of which the petitioner is a partner, is an A Class Contractor, duly registered under Section 4 of the Jammu & Kashmir Registration of Contractors Act, 1956, hereinafter to be referred to as the Act. Tenders for construction of 4 Kms. of Ravi Canal from RD-11, 418 to RD-15, 436 having been floated by the Executive Engineer, Ravi Canal Upper Division No. 1, Kathua, on 11-7-1981, he also applied for issuance of tender documents against cash payment on 15-12-1981, but no such documents were issued to him nor was any reason assigned for it On the contrary, out of the A Class Contractors who under the Act and the Rules made thereunder had a right to compete, tender documents were Issued in favour of four only, who figure as respondents 4 to 7 in the writ petition. He has challenged the aforesaid refusal of respondents 1 to 3 as being violative of Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution as well as of Section 3 of the Act which, according to him, created an indefeasible right in him to make an offer for execution of the work.
(3.) The petition has been vehemently resisted by the respondents. Their case, however, is that as per the practice in the State and elsewhere in the country, of which they have also quoted specific instances, pre-qualification tenders for the present work, the estimated cost whereof was more than Rs. 150/- lacs and which had to be completed in just two years, were invited from all A Class Contractors in the State, besides other firms of repute in the rest of the country, who intended to compete for the work. The tenders had to reach the office of the Chief Engineer, Ravi Tawi Complex, Jammu, respondent No. 1 herein, by or on 7-9-1981. Only seven persona or firms, in eluding respondents 4 to 7, offered the pre-qualification tenders. Tender documents were not supplied to the petitioner, because he did not expose himself to the pre- qualification test which was a sine qua non for issuance of such documents. Out of the "seven tenders who had subjected themselves to pre-qualification test, only four, namely, respondents 4 to 7 were found eligible to compete. The petitioner not having a right to get the work allotted in his favour, but having merely a right to be considered for the allotment of the work, could make no grievance either on account of any violation of Article 14 or 19 of the Constitution, or on account of any infraction of Section 3 or 4 of the Act read with Rules 3 and 4 made under it. The respondents had offered to consider him also, but he himself declined to be considered by not subjecting himself to pre- qualification test, even though he fully well knew that pre-qualification tender was a condition precedent for, his being considered.;
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