1. W.P.(C) No.15736/2020 as amended, is filed by the Proprietor, Binny Associates, who is a Contractor registered both, under the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and State Public Works Department (State PWD). The petitioner seeks to call for the records from the 4th respondent in changing the Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) in Ext.P5 e-tender notification and to quash Ext.P2. As an incidental relief, the petitioner is seeking to direct the respondents to provide the petitioner with facility to participate in Ext.P5 e-tender on the basis of Ext.P1(a) State PWD licence, till re-validation of Ext.P1 CPWD licence issued to the petitioner.2. In W.P.(C) No.16285/2020 as amended, the very same petitioner seeks to quash Ext.P4 Office Memorandum issued by the 2nd respondent and permit the petitioner to participate in tender with re-validation of Ext.P1 licence.3. The petitioner states that he is a Contractor under CPWD and State PWD from 1995 onwards. He has GST registration also and has been filing returns regularly. Ext.P1 in W.P.(C) No.15736/2020 is the licence issued to the petitioner by the CPWD and Ext.P1(a) is the licence issued by State PWD. On the basis of Ext.P1(a) licence, the respondents permitted the petitioner to participate in e-tenders and awarded Exts.P2 to P2(e) contract works also.4. Now, when the 5th respondent invited Ext.P5 e-tender, as per the NIT, only CPWD licensees were made eligible. Because of Ext.P4 OM of Director General, CPWD, by which fresh enlistment of contractors/re-validation stands suspended, the petitioner is not in a position to re-validate his CPWD licence. The petitioner therefore sought to direct the respondents to facilitate the petitioner to participate in Ext.P5 e-tender.5. By interim orders passed in WP(C) No.15736/2020, the respondents were directed to accept the tender of the petitioner provisionally and subject to further orders from this Court. In similar circumstances, this Court passed interim order in W.P.(C) No.16285/2020 to permit the petitioner to provisionally participate in Ext.P6 tender proceedings therein.6. Respondents 1 to 4 filed counter affidavit and defended the writ petitions. According to the respondents, CPWD enlistment is mandatory for participation in the tenders floated by CPWD. As per an exemption clause available in the CPWD Manual, contractors who were not enlisted by the CPWD were permitted to participate in tenders for works costing up to Rs.30 Crores. The exemption ceased to exist after 31.03.2020. The petitioner has not re-validated his CPWD licence or made attempts to get enlistment in the CPWD list since 2017. Therefore, the petitioner is not entitled to participate in CPWD tenders, after 31.03.2020.7. Learned counsel for the petitioner argued that for the last 60 years, there were no CPWD enlisted contractors available to do smaller works of CPWD in the State of Kerala. The petitioner and similarly situated contractors licensed by the State PWD were undertaking the works of CPWD. The CPWD have been allowing the contractors with State PWD licence for the last several years. The petitioner's State PWD licence is valid up to 31.03.2020 and hence the petitioner is eligible and entitled to participate in the tenders floated by CPWD. Non-revalidation or non-enlistment of the petitioner by the CPWD cannot be a reason to disqualify the petitioner.8. The counsel for the petitioner Sri. Tomson T. Emmanuel further argued that since the respondents were entertaining and accepting the tenders made by State PWD licensed contractors, the petitioner did not take prompt steps to re-validate his CPWD licence. Even without CPWD licence, the tenders made by the petitioner were accepted and the petitioner is doing CPWD contract works even now. The counsel for the petitioner strongly refuted the contentions of the respondents that after 31.03.2020, the State PWD contractors, who are not possessing CPWD licence, were not permitted to participate in CPWD tenders. The learned counsel for the petitioner relied on Ext.P3 tender and stated that the petitioner was permitted to participate in Ext.P3 CPWD tender on 01.07.2020, even after 31.03.2020.9. Learned counsel for the petitioner further argued that Ext.R4(c) is an internal Circular issued by the respondents, which is neither circulated nor published. Hence, Ext.R4(c) cannot be relied on by the respondents to disqualify the petitioner. The learned counsel for the petitioner alleged that the sudden changing of conditions by the respondents is to favour a section of the contractors in Kerala and hence is liable to be nutralised. The cutoff date 31.03.2020 laid down in Ext.R4(c) is without any nexus with any object, hence the said cut off date is liable to be declared as arbitrary. The counsel for the petitioner insisted that the writ petitions are therefore only to be allowed confirming the interim orders passed in these writ petitions.10. I have heard Sri. Tomson T. Emmanuel, the learned counsel for the petitioner, and Sri. Vishnu J., Central Government Counsel appearing for respondents 1 to 4.11. The CPWD contracts are governed by CPWD Works Manual. The tenders/contracts in issue in these writ petitions are governed by CPWD Works Manual, 2019. It is an admitted fact that the CPWD enlistment of the petitioner expired on 22.07.2017.12. As per the CPWD Manual, a non-CPWD registered contractor can also participate in CPWD tenders in exceptional cases. As per the Manual, the Additional Director General is empowered to relax the provisions of the Manual. According to the respondents, Office Memorandum was issued granting exemption to non-CPWD registered contractors to participate in CPWD works of Kerala and Lakshadweep for works costing up to Rs.30 Crores. The period of exemption granted expired on 31.03.2020.13. Therefore, it is evident that the petitioner has been participating in the CPWD tenders till 31.03.2020, based on a relaxation granted. The petitioner did not care to revalidate/renew his CPWD licence since 22.07.2017. Without a current CPWD enlistment, the petitioner cannot aspire to participate in CPWD contracts. The fact that the petitioner has been permitted to participate in CPWD tenders based on exemption granted by the CPWD Authorities would not vest any right on the petitioner to continue make bids after the expiry of the period of exemption. The petitioner has not admittedly re-validated his CPWD licence.14. The petitioner has a case that even after 31.03.2020, the petitioner was permitted to participate in Ext.P3 tender proceedings. According to the learned Central Government Counsel, the tender of the petitioner was entertained for the sole reason that Ext.P3 was a re-tender, the original of which was made prior to 31.03.2020, during which period the petitioner was eligible to submit his tender based on exemption granted. Therefore, this Court is of the opinion that participation of the petitioner in Ext.P3 will not grant a right to the petitioner to make bids after 31.03
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.2020. This Court also finds no reason to hold that the selection of cutoff date 31.03.2020 is arbitrary. It is logical that the respondents decided to discontinue the exemption at the end of a Financial Year.15. In the circumstances, this Court finds no merit in the writ petitions filed by the petitioner. Accordingly, the interim orders passed in the writ petitions are vacated.16. However, the petitioner submits that he has made Ext.P11 application for the enlistment as Class IV Building Contractor on 22.09.2020. In the circumstances of the case, the respondents are directed to consider Ext.P11 application for enlistment submitted by the petitioner and take a final decision thereon within a period of one month.The writ petitions are disposed of with the said direction.