Kar HC | Passing an order of debarment or blacklisting without prior notice is bad in law; Affects Right to Life

Karnataka High Court

Karnataka High Court: S.G Pandit, J. disposed of the petition leaving respondent-Railway authorities at liberty to take action against the catering services after affording an opportunity to them, in accordance with the law.

The facts of the case are such that the respondent-Railways invited tenders for Housekeeping, Catering and Loading Unloading support services and the petitioner was one of the successful tenderers in so far as catering services is concerned. Even though the petitioner’s tender was accepted, on the ground that tenderer/petitioner failed to execute the work, the petitioner was debarred under the impugned letter but would not indicate issuance of any notice before debarring the petitioner from participating in any of the contracts of the Indian Railways. Thus, the instant writ petition was filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India praying to set aside the communication dated 05-04-2019.

Counsel for the Railways submitted that no notice was issued to the petitioner prior to the impugned communication.

The Court thus observed that blacklisting or debarring of a contractor from participating in any contract would result in civil consequence. In that, a person against whom debarment or blacklisting is passed, he would not be in a position to participate in any of the contracts and his right to life would be affected. When an action of the authorities would result in civil consequences, a prior notice indicating the reason for blacklisting or debarment shall be communicated and on receiving the reply, such blacklisting or debarment order shall be passed.

Thus the Court held, In the instant case, since there was no notice before debarring or blacklisting the petitioner from participating in catering service of the respondent-Railways, I deem it appropriate to quash Annexure-G dated 05-04-2019, with liberty to the respondent to take appropriate action, after affording an opportunity to the petitioner.   [Crest Facility Management v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Kar 906, decided on 30-05-2022]


Appearances

For petitioners- Ms Anjana

For respondents- Mr Abhinay YT


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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