WP(C) 7420/2016. Gauhati High Court

Case NumberWP(C) 7420/2016
Judgement DateMarch 02, 2021
CourtGauhati High Court

Son of Lal Singh Das,

Resident of Sarpara, Mirza, Kamrup (M).

  1. Ashirbad Enterprise, having its registered Office at B.R. Nagar, represented by Manish Kr. Srivastava, Son of D.N. Srivastava, Resident of B.R. Nagar, Noonmati, Guwahati-20, Kamrup (M).

  2. D.K. Suman & Co., having its registered Office at Bamunimaidam, Guwahati-21, Kamrup (M), represented by Dharmendra Kumar Sarma, Resident of Bamunimaidam, Guwahati-21, Kamrup (M).

  3. Uttam Sarkar,

    Son of Late D.C. Sarkar, Ashirbad Apartment, Bamunimaidam, Guwahati-21, Kamrup (M).

  4. Pallab Kr. Das,

    Son of Late Prafulla Ch. Das, Satgaon, Luit Nagar, Kamrup (M).

  5. Hitesh Kalita,

    Son of Late Dhiren Kalita, Mirza, Kamrup (M).

  6. Bliss Enterprise, having its registered Office at Ambikagiri Nagar, Guwahati, represented by its Proprietor Kishore Kumar, Son of Late Manmil Kumar, Resident of Ambikagiri Nagar, Guwahati, Kamrup (M).

  7. Dutta Enterprise, having its registered Office at Geetanagar, Guwahati, represented by its Proprietor Shri Swarup Dutta, Son of Late S.C. Dutta, Resident of Geetanagar, Guwahati, Kamrup (M).

  8. Electrical Enterprise, having its registered Office at Kahilipara, represented by its Proprietor Asim Bhattacharjee, Resident of Kahilipara, Guwahati, Kamrup (M).

  9. P.D. Enterprise, having its registered Office at Railway Colony, Bamunimaidam, Guwahati, Kamrup (M), represented by its Proprietor Shri P. Deb.

  10. Bimal Kalita,

    Son of Late Nakul Kalita,

    Resident of Kahikuchi Market, Azara, Kamrup (M).

    …….. Petitioners

    WP(C) No.7420/2016 & WP(C) No.7900/2016 Page 1 of 23

    Kolkata, I ndian Oil Bhawan, 2 Gariahat Road (South), Dhakuria, Kolkata-700068.

  11. Chief Engineering Manager, I ndian Oil AOD State Office, Guwahati, I ndian Oil Bhawan, Noonmati, Sector-3, Kamrup (M).

    …….. Respondents

    For the petitioners : Mr. D. Saikia, Senior Advocate.

    Mr. B. Gogoi, Advocate.

    For respondent No.1 : Mr. S. S. Roy, Central Government Advocate. For respondent Nos.2 to 4 : Mr. M.K. Choudhury, Senior Advocate.

    Mr. N. Baruah, Advocate.

  12. WRIT PETITION (C) NO.7900 OF 2016

  13. MRP Enterprise, having its registered Office at Bijoynagar and represented by its Proprietor Monir Ali, Son of Late Sikandar Ali, Resident of Bijaynagar, Kamrup (M).

  14. Pankaj Kr. Das,

    Son of Lal Singh Das,

    Resident of Sarpara, Mirza, Kamrup (M).

  15. Ashirbad Enterprise, having its registered Office at B.R. Nagar, represented by Manish Kr. Srivastava, Son of D.N. Srivastava, Resident of B.R. Nagar, Noonmati, Guwahati-20, Kamrup (M).

  16. D.K. Suman & Co., having its registered Office at Bamunimaidam, Guwahati-21, Kamrup (M), represented by Dharmendra Kumar Sarma, Resident of Bamunimaidam, Guwahati-21, Kamrup (M).

  17. Uttam Sarkar,

    Son of Late D.C. Sarkar, Ashirbad Apartment, Bamunimaidam, Guwahati-21, Kamrup (M).

  18. Pallab Kr. Das,

    Son of Late Prafulla Ch. Das, Satgaon, Luit Nagar, Kamrup (M).

    W P( C) No.74 20 / 20 16 & W P( C) No.79 00/ 20 16 Page 2 of 23

    Swarup Dutta, Son of Late S.C. Dutta, Resident of Geetanagar, Guwahati, Kamrup (M).

  19. Electrical Enterprise, having its registered Office at Kahilipara, represented by its Proprietor Asim Bhattacharjee, Resident of Kahilipara, Guwahati, Kamrup (M).

  20. P.D. Enterprise, having its registered Office at Railway Colony, Bamunimaidam, Guwahati, Kamrup (M).

  21. Bimal Kalita,

    Son of Late Nakul Kalita,

    Resident of Kahikuchi Market, Azara, Kamrup (M).

  22. Mineswar Das,

    Son of Das,

    Resident of Salbari, Noonmati, Guwahati-20, Kamrup (M).

    …….. Petitioners

    - Versus -

  23. The Union of I ndia, represented by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, New Delhi.

  24. I ndian Oil Corporation Limited, represented by Managing Director, Head Office, 3079/ 3, JB Tito Marg, Sadiq Nagar, New Delhi-110049.

  25. Executive Director, I ndian Oil Bhawan, I ndian Oil Assam Oil Assam Oil Division State Office, Noonmati, Sector-3, Kamrup (M).

  26. The Director Marketing, I OCL, Head Office, 3079/ 3, JB Tito Marg, Sadiq Nagar, New Delhi-110049.

  27. The General Manager (Contract Cell), Eastern Range Office, Kolkata, I ndian Oil Bhawan, 2 Gariahat Road (South), Dhakuria, Kolkata-700068.

  28. Chief Engineering Manager, I ndian Oil AOD State Office, Guwahati, I ndian Oil Bhawan, Noonmati, Sector-3, Kamrup (M).

    …….. Respondents

    For the petitioners : Mr. D. Saikia, Senior Advocate.

    Mr. B. Gogoi, Advocate.

    W P( C) No.74 20 / 20 16 & W P( C) No.79 00/ 20 16 Page 3 of 23

    Date of hearing : 27th January, 2017.

    Date of Judgment & Order : 02.03.2017

    JUDGMENT & ORDER

    Heard Mr. D. Saikia, learned senior counsel for the petitioners. Also heard Mr. Mr. M.K. Choudhury, learned senior standing counsel, I ndian Oil Corporation, appearing for the respondent Nos.2 to 4 in WP(C) No.7420/ 2016 and for respondent Nos.2 to 6 in WP(C) No.7900/ 2016 as well as the learned Central Government counsel, appearing for the respondent No.1 in both the writ petitions.

  29. The 2(two) writ petitions being connected, are listed together and as agreed to by the learned counsel appearing for the parties, they are taken up for disposal at the admission stage.

  30. I n WP(C) No.7420/ 2016, affidavit was filed by the respondent Nos.2, 3 & 4 and reply to the said affidavit had also been filed. The petitioner Nos.1 to 12 in both the writ petitions are same. I n addition, in WP(C) No.7900/ 2016, there is an additional petitioner.

  31. The pleaded case of the petitioners are that they are 2(two) types of registered Contractors under the I ndian Oil Corporation Limited (for short, “I OCL”), viz. (i) Zonal Contractors and (ii) Empanelled Contractors. The Zonal Contractors are those who are allotted works up to Rs.30 Lacs and the Empanelled Contractors are those who are allotted works above Rs.30 Lacs. There are 4(four) Zones of I OCL in the State, namely, (i) Guwahati Zone, (ii) Tinsukia Zone, (iii) Silchar Zone and (4) I mphal Zone. I t is stated in both the writ petitions that except petitioner No.9, petitioner Nos.1 to 8, 10 to 12 are registered as Zonal Contractors of Guwahati Zone in which there are 26(twenty-six) Zonal Contractors. I n WP(C) No.7900/ 2016, nothing has been said about the petitioner No.13. I t is averred that except petitioner No.9, the petitioners have been executing various

    W P( C) No.74 20 / 20 16 & W P( C) No.79 00/ 20 16 Page 4 of 23

    Consumer Outlets, Consumer Depots, LPG Bottling Plants, Terminals, Depots, Aviation Fuelling Stations etc. under I ndian Oil AOD State Office for a period of 3(three) years. The last date of submission of e-Tender was fixed on 08.06.2016 up to 1430 Hours and the date and time of opening of tender was fixed on 09.06.2016 at 1500 Hours. The e-Tender was issued for empanelment in Category-I , which is for amount above Rs.30 Lacs to Rs.75 Lacs, Category-I I for Rs.75 Lacs to Rs.150 Lacs and Category-I I I for Rs.150 Lacs to Rs.200 Lacs and Clauses-11, 12 and 13, respectively, prescribed the respective prequalification criteria. Averments made in the 2(two) writ petitions indicate that the petitioner Nos.1, 3, 5 to 12 submitted their bids for Category-I , while the petitioner Nos.2 and 4 submitted their bids for Category-I and Category-I I . Nothing has been indicated with regard to the petitioner No.13 of WP(C) No.7900/ 2016.

  32. As considerable period of time had elapsed after opening of the tenders, the petitioners made enquiries as to why there was delay in finalising the empanelment process. The petitioners were informed that the tenders were under consideration. At this stage, the General Manager (Contract Cell), Eastern Regional Office, Kolkata issued a tender dated 10.11.2016 in the official website inviting public tender seeking Techno- Commercial bids from eligible Contractors for empanelment as Contractors for construction/ maintenance works at Retail/ Consumer Outlets, Consumer Depots, Storage Depots, Terminals, Aviation Fuelling Stations (AVS) of I OCL under I ndian Oil AOD State Office for a period of 3(three) years. Thereafter, by e-mail dated 17.11.2016, the petitioners were informed that the earlier tender notice dated 06.05.2016 had been cancelled. On enquiries made by the petitioners, they were informed that the tender dated 10.11.2016 is in relation to the very same work in respect of which the earlier tender dated 06.05.2016 was issued.

  33. I t is pleaded that in the tender dated 10.11.2016, very high pre-qualification criteria had been prescribed and the Categories were reduced to 2(two) Categories from earlier 3(three) Categories with Category-I covering value of work from Rs.0 to Rs.100 L

    W P( C) No.74 20 / 20 16 & W P( C) No.79 00/ 20 16 Page 5 of 23

    tender dated 10.11.2016 and the impugned decision cancelling the tender dated

    06.05.2016, which was communicated vide e-mail dated 17.11.2016, (ii) for setting aside and quashing the impugned pre-qualification criteria prescribed for Category-I and Category-I I in the tender dated 10.11.2016 and (iii) for directing the respondent authorities to proceed with tender process initiated pursuant to the tender dated

    06.05.2016.

  34. I n the affidavit of the respondent Nos.2, 3 & 4 filed on 14.12.2016, amongst others, it is stated that a revised policy guidelines was issued on 05.08.2016, which has uniform, consistent all India applicability and, therefore, fresh tender dated 10.11.2016 was issued in supersession of the earlier tender notice dated 06.05.2016.

  35. A reply affidavit was filed by the petitioners on 19.12.2016. On 22.12.2016, the second writ petition being WP(C) No.7900/ 2016 was filed praying for setting aside and quashing the guidelines dated 05.08.2016 and for quashing Clauses-2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 thereof.

  36. Thus, essentially, while in WP(C) No.7420/ 2016, the petitioners assail the tender notice dated 10.11.2016 and the decision to cancel the earlier tender dated 06.05.2016, in the second writ petition, i.e. WP(C) No.7900/ 2016, challenge is made to the guidelines based on which purportedly the tender notice dated 10.11.2016 was issued.

  37. Mr...

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