High Court stays tendering process

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IMPHAL, March 17: The Gauhati High Court Imphal has directed against any tendering process for the construction of roads in the five hill districts of the state to be implemented by the Manipur State Rural Roads Development Agency, MSRRDA with approval of the Commissioner, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Government of Manipur under the flagship programs of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, informed a source.

Sources informed that the prohibitory order was issued by a Double Bench of the Gauhati High Court/Imphal comprising of Justice Tayenjam Nandakumar Singh and Justice N Koteshwar Singh on March 15.

It is also learnt that the order was in relation to a Public Interest Litigation filed by the President of the All Manipur PWD Contractors Association L Guni Singh(61) of Kakwa Pukhri Maning on February 18.

The PIL has alleged irregularities in the tendering process of road constructions in the five hill districts under the eight phase of the Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana, PMGSY, sources said.

Sources informed that according to the PIL, the “Bill of Quality” containing about 10 pages which is part of the tendering process has several irregularities – the signature of the Chief Engineer, MSRRDA being tempered with and the used of fake seal in some pages of the bill.

The tender notice for the road construction in hill districts under the PMGSY Phase VIII amounting to around Rs 204 crore is (Notice Inviting Tender) 6/14/2011/MSRRDA/E-Tender/Phase VIII/998, the source informed.

The NIT was issued on October 15, 2012.

Other irregularities in the tender as mentioned in the PIL includes that the period for the tender process has been delayed than as instructed by the rule and the opening of tender has been done in a step-by-step manner, the source informed.

The PIL had appealed before the court to stop the tendering process so as to check all such irregularities.

It is also learnt that the Court after admitting the PIL had issued the order on March 15.

The order of the COurt has said “In such circumstances, the Court requires to see the originls of those documents in which the so-called tampered signatures of respondent No 2 are appearing. Accordingly, respondents are directed to produce the original documents. In the meanwhile, respondent No 2 has to file affidavit on or before the next date. List it after four weekds. In the interregnum, respondents are directed not to issue any work order in respect of the contract work mentioned in the NIT dated October 15, 2012”.

The hearing for the case will be continued on April 16, informed the source.

The petitioner was represented by Advocate M Devananda while the respondents were represented by Manipur Government Advocate General Th Ibohal.

The respondents of the case are the state of Manipur represented by its Commissioner/Secretary (RD&PR), government of Manipur, Chief Engineer/ State Quality Controller, MSRRDA and the Ministry of Rural Development represented by its secretary, GOI, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi.

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