Uttaranchal High Court: The Bench of Sudhanshu Dhulia, J. stated that if the major part of the work was of civil nature then making the lead contractor from the civil department cannot be detrimental to the other non-civil contractors.
The petitioner who was a contractor and a proprietor of a firm was aggrieved by the tender notice inviting for civil and electrical work by the respondent. He has questioned the composite nature of the tender which according to him must have been separately called for taking into consideration the work which was both of civil and electrical engineering. He further contends that the nature of work has electrical component but experienced electrical contractors have been virtually ousted from the process by treating them as a ‘junior partner’ making it a violation under Articles 14 and 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India. The rebuttal placed by the respondents were that they acted in the above-stated manner to save time and money of the department as the major component of the work was civil work and only 20 to 30 per cent was reserved for the electrical plus they haven’t barred the petitioners from participating in the tender rather a joint venture was created so violation under no case could be claimed.
The Court considering that amount of electrical work which formed a small part of the entire venture and thus Civil Engineering being in the forefront does no harm and was not arbitrary. Accordingly there was no illegality if a composite contract was called for as that would best serve the interest of the State. Hence the petition was dismissed.[Naveen Chandra Joshi v. State of Uttarakhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Utt 1062, order dated 11-07-2018]