Delhi HC sets aside monetary reward

The Delhi High Court has set aside a monetary award granted to a Delhi Development Authority contractor by an arbitrator, saying that “the arbitrator took upon himself the job of rewarding a corrupt contractor and thereby rewarding corrupt DDA officials”.

The DDA had given a contract to Messrs K. C. Chibber & Company to build 936 Janata flats at Pitampura, to be later allotted to persons belonging to the poorer sections of society. It had later cancelled the contract on the ground of poor quality of work and delay in completion. The Authority had taken the decision to call off the contract following submission of an inspection report about the quality of work done by the contractor by the Central Building Research Institute.

The report said “the structure constructed by the contractor was of such poor quality and so inherently weak that it was dangerous to allow it to stand and do further construction over it”.
Setting aside the award of Rs.32 lakh to the contractor, Justice S. N. Dhingra of the Court said: “The work was obviously not as per the contract and had to be demolished, still awarding an amount of Rs.32 lakh by the arbitrator to the contractor only amounts to rewarding corruption by the arbitrator and also amounts to giving an award contrary to public policy of the state.”
“There is a syndicate of contractors, DDA engineers and arbitrators to see that corruption thrives at the cost of public exchequer and the common man,” Mr. Justice Dhingra observed.

The DDA had challenged the award arguing that it was contrary to the public policy and amounted to rewarding the contractor for indulging in corruption.

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