calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: While admitting the appeal for further consideration, a Division bench comprising of T. S. Sivagnanam, CJ., and Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, J., prohibited the appellants from participating in any tenders within the State of West Bengal called by the government, quasi-government entities, or government-managed companies in West Bengal.

In the instant matter, the appellant aggrieved by the order dated 14-07-2033 passed by the single-judge bench of this Court which rejected the challenge made by the appellants against their blacklisting by the respondent corporation for a period of five years, preferred an appeal challenging the same.

The appellants contended that an interim order dated 04-07-2023, had been granted during the pendency of the writ petition, and requested a similar interim order for the present appeal.

The respondent contended that the blacklisting of the appellants by Western Coalfields Limited had been upheld by the High Court at Bombay, Nagpur Bench, and subsequently affirmed by the Supreme Court. It was contended that the stigma of blacklisting will persist even after the completion of the blacklisting period, as per the conditions outlined in the notice inviting tender.

The Court observed that the blacklisting of the appellants by Western Coalfields Limited will definitely constitute a stigma on the appellants. The Court’s prima facie view aligns with the respondents, suggesting that if the appellants failed to disclose the blacklisting order from Western Coalfields Limited, the five-year blacklisting would be justified. However, the Court considers this finding preliminary and reserves the final decision for the appeal hearing.

“The question would be as to whether if the period of blacklisting was over whether the stigma would vanish, in our prima facie view, the stigma will not vanish because the condition prescribed in the notice inviting tender is disclosure of any order of blacklisting.”

The Court considered the prayers presented and held that the appellants would be prohibited from participating in any tender within the State of West Bengal that was called for by the Government, Quasi-Government, or Government Company managed by the Government of West Bengal.

The Court admitted the appeal for further consideration and deliberation.

[Dhansar Engineering Co. (P) Ltd. v. W.B. Mineral Development & Trading Corporation Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2440, order dated 23-08-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Partha Sarathi Sengupta, Mr. Dwaipayan Basu Mallick, Ms. Amrita Panda, Mr. Arkaprava Sen, Mr. S. Sen, Counsel for the Appellants

Mr. Kishore Datta, Mr. Sanjay Saha, Mr. S. Bhattacharya, Mr. Piyush Agarwal, Ms. Utsha Dasgupta, Counsel for the Respondents

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