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Regional

High Court of Himachal Pradesh imposed heavy cost of Rs. 60,000

Bijender Sharma | November 30, 2022 08:49 PM

SHIMLA: The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has today imposed heavy cost of Rs. 60, 000/-, for gross abuse of the process of the Court by the petitioner. The petitioner, Billu, filed the present petition with prayer to quash tender awarded by the Municipal Council, Manali, for collection and segregation of garbage alongwith transportation to the Solid Waste Management.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, and Justice Virender Singh passed this order. The petitioner pleaded that he is a registered government contractor and licence holder under the Contractor Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970. He alleged that Municipal Council, Manali, vide tender notice dated 20.09.2022, invited online bids through electronic tendering system for door to door collection of solid waste alongwith transportation to the Solid Waste Management site, Rangari, from Wards No. 1 to 7, for which vehicles were required to be provided by the contractor.

It is further the case of the petitioner that respondent Municipal Council, Manali, while inviting tender did not follow the provisions of the H.P. Financial Rules and also the Manual for Procurement of Works, 2019 and despite this awarded the work in favour of respondent, The Triotap Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The petitioner prayed that the tender so awarded may be quashed and the respondents may be directed to re-publish the same in accordance with law, in the interest of justice and fair play.

On the other hand, it was contended by the respondents that the petition is based on false, frivolous and vexatious allegations. The online tender was invited on the e-Procurement System of H.P. Government, and the same was also sent for publication in two newspapers. However, the same was published in only one news paper. It was further averred that the entire tender process and thereafter the allotment of work has been conducted in a fair and transparent manner, that too, after completing all codal formalities and, therefore, requires no interference. It was also brought to the notice of the court by the respondents that petitioner was a representative of the Nextgen Chemichals, who happened to be the contractor for the period 2021-22, in Muncipal Council, Manali and in substance, the instant petition was only a proxy litigation at the behest of Nextgen Chemicals.

After going into the allegations as set out by the petitioner, the Court observed that the instant petition is nothing short of proxy litigation at the behest and on behalf of Nextgen Chemicals. The Court found no fault in the tendering process. The Court found the petition to be gross abuse of the process of the Court, hence the same has been dismissed with cost of Rs. 60, 000/-, out of which Rs. 20, 000/- is to be paid to Municipal Council, Manali, Rs. 20, 000/- to The Triotap Techonology Pvt. Ltd. and Rs. 20, 000/- to H.P. High Court Advocates’ Welfare Fund within a period of four weeks.

The matter has been ordered to be listed on 01.03.2023, for compliance.

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