Decided on April 22,2003

Electro India Appellant


- (1.)When the matter was moved before Court Jayanta Kumar Biswas, J. passed an interim order dated Feb. 26, 2003 and also direction for affidavits.
(2.)For the sake of convenience, a relevant portion of the said order dated Feb. 26, 2003 is extracted hereunder to avoid re-petition of facts leading to the filing of the instant application:
"The Superintending Engineer, Electrical Circle No.11 of the Public Works Department of the Government of West Bengal had invited tenders for installation of compound lighting in the Judicial Complex at Kalyani, in the District of Nadia. The 4grs had been invited under Notice No.7/T of 2000-2001 issued by his Memo No. 181/1 (16) dated 13th Feb., 2001. The writ petitioner duly submitted tender in response to the said notice; on opening the tenders the writ petitioner was found suitable and it was selected for the work. By his letter dated 22nd March, 2002 (Annexure P-2) the Superintending Engineer informed the writ petitioner that after complying with the formalities indicated therein it should take up the work and complete the same within the stipulated period of three weeks from the date of layout.

The petitioner's case is that in spite of complying with all the formalities as directed by the authority, he was not allowed to start the work for undisclosed reasons. It is the further case of the petitioner that in spite of several representations including the ones dated 18th July, 2002 and 6th Aug., 2002 (Annexures P-4 and P-5 respectively), the respondents did not allow the petitioner to start the work, or disclose the reasons for not allowing the writ petitioner to start the work.

While the things were laying at the above mentioned stage, the Superintending Engineer issued a fresh notice on 18th Feb., 2003 inviting tenders for the self same work. Such notice has been published in the newspaper (Annexure P-6). Challenging such fresh notice inviting tenders for the self same work the present petition has been filed by the writ petitioner.

The petitioner contends that without cancellation of its lawful selection, the respondent authorities cannot invite fresh tenders for the self same work. The petitioner has further contended that both the inactions and actions of the respondents are arbitrary and unfair. The learned Advocate for the petitioner prays for admission of the writ petition and interim order for restraining the respondents from proceeding any further with the notice inviting fresh tenders for the same work.

Mr. Mukherjee appearing for the Superintending Engineer, the respondent No.2 has disputed the correctness of the contentions raised by the petitioner in the writ petition. He submits that the petitioners selection for the work had stood automatically cancelled and lapsed, because the petitioner had failed to comply with the directions given by the Superintending Engineer by said letter dated 22nd March, 2002. Mr. Mukherjee submits that the petitioner did not file the copy of the agreement in spite of direction given for the same. Mr. Mukherjee submits that he, however, is not in a position to produce any document to show that the petitioner had been informed about the cancellation and/or lapse of the petitioner's selection. He is also not in a position to produce any record to show that the petitioner's representations annexed to the petition were in any manner replied to by the respondents. It is further submitted by Mr. Mukherjee that the notice dated 18th Feb., 2003 inviting fresh tenders does not relate to the same work for which the petitioner had been selected earlier. Mr. Mukherjee's last contention at this stage is that the work order in terms of the fresh notice inviting tenders has already been issued in favour of the selected tenderer. He is, however, not in a position to produce any document to show that the work order has already been issued in terms of the impugned notice inviting tenders."

(3.)In the affidavit-in-opposition filed on behalf of the respondent No.2, it is admitted that open tender was invited on Feb. 13, 2001 being tender notice No.7/T of 2000-01. It is also admitted that the petitioner was the lowest tenderer. It is stated that letter of provisional acceptance/order was issued in favour of the writ petitioner with a request to make contract agreement by submitting form WBF No.2911 (ii). As the petitioner did not comply with the terms of the aforesaid letter Annexure P-2, action was taken by respondents as per Rule 230 (5) of the P.W.D. Code. It is, therefore, the contention of the respondents and as strenuously urged by Mr. Mukherjee, their learned Counsel that in terms of the said rule, the provisional letter of acceptance stood automatically cancelled by efflux of time.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.