State to stop all payments – High Court takes serious note of the conduct of a contractor

Himachal Pradesh High Court has taken serious note of the conduct of a contractor, whereby the majority of the works, as awarded to him, have not been started and, if started, have not been completed.           

A Division Bench, comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh passed this order on the petition filed by the Sh. Sanjeev Kumar Bhandari.

  The petitioner Sanjeev Kumar Bhandari, a Government Contractor, approached High Court with the claim that work for the construction of Dosa-Ra-Tharu-Putlifald, Lower Brahmfald Jhared Galu, Chanouta road was awarded in his favor.

 But vide order dated 04.09.2021,  the Executive Engineer, HP PWD, Dharampur Division, District Mandi, re-invited the tender for aforesaid work. The petitioner prayed to quash the order regarding the re-tendering of the work in question and to direct respondents to award the tender work in his favor.

During the course of the hearing the Court was informed at the Bar that the petitioner has been awarded as many as 66 contracts/works. The majority of the works awarded to him have not been started and, if started, have not been completed.

Taking serious note of the whole issue, the Court has directed the petitioner to file an affidavit clearly setting out therein the timeline within which he would complete the works in question, which either have not been started or, if started, are in the mid-way. 

The Court has further directed that not only the respondents in the present petition, but any other department of the State Government, Board or Corporation, etc., as the case may be, would not release any amount in favor of the petitioner/contractor without the express leave of the Court.  

In the meanwhile, the Principal Secretary, HPPWD, has been directed to initiate action against the erring official/officer(s) on account of whose negligence, despite the petitioner having defaulted, either in not commencing the works or stopping the same in the mid-way, no action was taken against him and rather they continued to award fresh works to him.

The fresh status report has been ordered to be filed in the matter on 13.07.2023.

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