Consideration of request for award of contract directed by Punjab and Haryana High Court

A division bench headed by Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court R.S. Jha directed the authorities to consider the request of Gurgaon based Smaru Tech LLP for the award of contract for erection, testing and commissioning of 11 KV Automatic Power Factor Corrector Panels as well the job of repair and maintenance of such existing panels and Automatic Capacitor Banks totalling to the worth of about 58 crores. The division bench also comprising Justice Arun Palli directed the authorities not to award the work without the due consideration of the request of the petitioner who is a duly registered unit as Micro Small and Medium Enterprise.

Mr. Govind Goel assisted by Sourabh Goel, advocate contended before the bench that the petitioner being sole MSME unit and having offered rates within the range of L1+15%, it was legally entitled to the award of atleast 50% of the work upon its agreeing to work on L1 rates, in terms of the provisions of the Act read with the statutory ‘Procurement Preference Policy’ of the State Government envisaging award of such contracts. Therefore, the petitioner who was the sole MSME bidder, having offered to do the job at L-1 rates during the negotiations before the High Powered Purchase Committee headed by the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and also comprising the Power Minister, Additional Chief Secretary Power etc. the said authority was legally bound to award the contract to the extent of 50% in favour of the petitioner. Mr. Goel also submitted that as per the Procurement Preference Policy of the State of Haryana the MSME units were also exempted in respect of Past Performance and Experience as part of qualifying requirement of the tender. For the enforcement of the said legal right of the petitioner and the performance of the legal duty of the competent authority, the petitioner sought appropriate direction from the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Upon hearing the counsel for the petitioner,  the bench asked the Additional Advocate General Deepak Balyan as to why the competent authority be not directed the consideration of the representation of the petitioner before a final call for award of contract is taken. Since the competent authority to award or decline the award of contract is High Powered Purchase Committee headed by the Chief Minister, the final decision in the matter will have to be taken by the said HPPC.

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