The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has stayed orders passed by the court of Additional District Judge Srinagar restraining the floriculture Department from allotting the ticket selling contract to enter Tulip Garden to anyone.
The orders by the local court were passed on 17,03,2022 and 23,03,2022 respectively.
As per an order issued on March 17, 2022, the Floriculture, Gardens and Parks Department has been restrained from allotting the contract of outsourcing of entry ticketing system of Tulip Garden, Srinagar, to any other tenderer till the disposal of the suit.
Another order issued on March 23, 2022 directed the Tehsildar concerned to attach the booth of the sale of tickets and submit its report by or before 25th March.
Aggrieved by the orders of the trial court, the administration, represented by Asifa Padroo, AAG, preferred appeal under order 43 of CPC which was listed before the High Court last Friday. The counsel for respondents G R Tantray was also present.
Justice Rajnesh Oswal, after being satisfied that a prima facie case is made out, stayed both orders passed by the ADJ Bank cases Srinagar, till the next date.
Justice Oswal observed “…In tender matters court should be slow to show any indulgence particularly when the public interest is involved.”
The controversy has arisen in February when the department accepted the bid of New Kathoo Constructions and Supplies for Rs 84,14,000 apart from TCS at the rate of 2 percent.
The bid/tender of M/S Azam and Ashraf was rejected during technical verification by the Deptt of Floriculture, aggrieved by the act of rejection of their bid/tender, they filed a suit for declaration before Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar praying for multiple reliefs.
The suit was assigned to the second Additional District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar. The case involving the dispute commercial in nature was, on March 9, transferred to commercial court i.e ADJ (Bank Cases), Srinagar.
The plaintiffs (respondents before the High Court) had prayed for declaring the act of the department Illegal, unjust and unreasonable and they be declared successful bidders and allotment of the contract of entry ticket system be made in their favour.
They had further filed an application, seeking interim relief in terms of Prohibitory Injunction against the department restraining them from proceeding ahead/finalizing the tendering process and from allotting the contract of outsourcing the Entry Ticketing System of Tulip Garden, Srinagar, to any other person.
Abdul Nasir, ADJ (Bank Cases) Srinagar, to decide interim application, heard both the parties on March 10 and passed order restraining the department from allotting the contract to any tenderer.
The Department, in their written statement filed before the Trial Court on 02,03,2022, besides other legal defences has taken the plea that they have already issued a letter of acceptance in favour of “highest bidder”.
Pertinently, the successful bidder, New Kathoo Constructions and Supplies, was not arrayed as party to the suit and this plea was also taken by the Department in their written statement submitted before the Trial court.
The operative part of the High Court order reads as follows, “List on 20-04-2022. In the meanwhile, it is provided that as the contract stood already allotted vide allotment letter dated 28th February 2022 and despite having knowledge of the letter of allotment, no effort was made by the respondents to array the successful allottee as party to the present suit and also taking into consideration that in tender matters, courts should be slow to show any indulgence particularly when the public interest is involved, the order impugned passed by the learned trial court is required to stay.”