HC imposes cost on litigant for seeking to block award of road contract


TAMIL NADU

HC imposes cost on litigant for seeking to block award of road contract

Legal CorrespondentCHENNAI 06 JUNE 2020 22:10 ISTUPDATED: 06 JUNE 2020 22:10 IST    

Bench says the petitioner, an RTI activist, seems to have been set up to stall projects

The Madras High Court has imposed a cost of ₹10,000 on a litigant who sought to restrain the Director of Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project (TNRSP) from awarding contracts to a private firm based in Hyderabad since the latter was allegedly involved in malpractice.

Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said: “Having gone through the petition and the representation, to us it appears that the petitioner has been set up by somebody to pursue a cause meant to forestall projects being implemented.

“It is not the case of the petitioner [M. Singaram, a Right to Information activist] that any contract has been awarded to any unqualified or unsuitable person. The prayer is in the nature of mandamus for disqualifying and blacklisting the fourth respondent in future.Advertising

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“Such a prayer, therefore, is clearly at the instance of some meddlesome person who does not want participation of fourth respondent [PSK Infrastructure and Project Private Limited] and at present there is no material indicating that any such contract had been awarded to the fourth respondent.

“The writ petition therefore is clearly designed and tailored for putting a spoke in the wheel for which is no specific material for us to take any action at this stage.” The judges directed the litigant to deposit the cost amount with Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority within three weeks.

In his affidavit, the petitioner had alleged that the Hyderabad-based firm had obtained contracts by submitting forged documents in the past and hence it should not be given any contracts in future until an inquiry was initiated, on the basis of his complaint, to unearth the truth.

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