Decided on December 05,2003



- (1.)This writ petition is made for the purpose of issuance of Mandamus to show cause as to why the tender notice dated 1-10-2003 issued by the authority of the Malda Zilla Parishad being Annexure 'P-3' will not be cancelled and/or set aside. A writ in the nature of prohibition was also made to that effect. The other consequential prayers are also made in connection thereto. At the interim stage the petitioners have obtained interim order to the extent. "In the meantime, there is no embargo upon the District Engineer, Malda Zilla Parishad, Malda to proceed with such tender notice but no final decision will be taken in respect of item Nos. 5, 6, 9, 15, 29 and 30 without leave of the Court".
(2.)A plea has been taken by the petitioners claiming to be the contractors that before the election of the Panchayat Raj Institution, the tender of the petitioners in respect of the aforesaid items were accepted as lowest. But no further action was taken due to forthcoming panchayat election. It was also recorded that work order may be issued immediately after the ensuing papchayat election. The petitioners contended that they have deposited the security money. After the election the political scenario was changed in respect of such Zilla Parishad. The present authority has floated a new tender notice totally ignoring the acceptance of lower rate as incorporated in the note sheets of the Zilla Parishad. Therefore, the petitioners have a right to know the cause of rejection. A gazette notification was published on 3-4-2003 in the Kolkata Gazette. A clause of such Gazette Notification is as follows :
"Normally, the lowest quotation or tender as the case may be, for the work, material or service indented for shall be accepted. However, on evaluation of antecedents and past records of the organisation concerned, its experience, standard and quality of earlier job performed, financial status of the tenderer, quality and specification of the materials or service offered and reasonability of rates quoted, even the lowest tender (or any other tender) may be rejected and the lowest along the available tenders may be accepted. However, this must necessarily be accompanied by written notes explaining in clear terms why certain tenders are rejected specially if the lowest one is rejected and why some other tender is accepted. Such a note must be signed by the members of the Tender Committee"
(3.)Subsequent to obtaining the interim order passed by the Court, the respondents sought for time to file their affidavits to contest the same. Such affidavits are filed. Incidentally, it is to be recorded hereunder that an application being CAN No. 9313/2003 was filed for addition of parties which was allowed since no objection was put forward. The parties are the contractors in respect of other items. At the time of final hearing Mr. Sibdas Banerjee, 1d. Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioners contended before this Court that security deposit as received by the Zilla Parishad in respect of the earlier tender was withheld. No cause of rejection of the lowest tender was shown but a fresh tender notice was issued. The condition of wide circulation was not there at the time of calling the earlier tender. No copy of the notice was given by the Zilla Parishad concerned to the President of the Malda Zilla Parishad Contractor Welfare Association, Malda although the same was given in the earlier occasion. Therefore, there is a strong and cogent ground of legitimate expectation which not only be substantiated on the basis of the factual or legal position as indicated herein in getting success of the writ.

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