w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



M/s. SBJ Projects (P) Ltd., Through its Director, Amit Kumar Bansal, Chhattisgarh v/s South Eastern Coalfields Limited, through its Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Chhattisgarh & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- EASTERN COALFIELDS LTD [Active] CIN = U10101WB1975GOI030295

Company & Directors' Information:- SOUTH EASTERN COALFIELDS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U10102CT1985GOI003161

Company & Directors' Information:- C AND C PROJECTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999HR2007PLC036644

Company & Directors' Information:- SOUTH INDIA CORPN PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51102TN1935PTC002652

Company & Directors' Information:- Y K M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U40109TG2008PTC057263

Company & Directors' Information:- T G R PROJECTS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200KA2012PTC062702

Company & Directors' Information:- S KUMAR PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2009PTC134015

Company & Directors' Information:- S G PROJECTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65999WB1990PLC049684

Company & Directors' Information:- B C C PROJECTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL2001PTC112102

Company & Directors' Information:- J K S PROJECTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2011PLC157565

Company & Directors' Information:- BANSAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1999PLC102216

Company & Directors' Information:- D M P PROJECTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB2006PTC107513

Company & Directors' Information:- T & T PROJECTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201AS2008PLC008641

Company & Directors' Information:- W AND W PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65910DL1989PTC036754

Company & Directors' Information:- E M C PROJECTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U29248WB1964PTC026261

Company & Directors' Information:- H AND V PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72400DL2011PTC220047

Company & Directors' Information:- M A PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101DL2005PTC135093

Company & Directors' Information:- S. V. S. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70100AP1998PTC029024

Company & Directors' Information:- M V PROJECTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45202KA2008PTC045272

Company & Directors' Information:- S V S PROJECTS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200AP2015PTC096787

Company & Directors' Information:- A T E PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL1999PTC102246

Company & Directors' Information:- U W T PROJECTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200AP2004PLC043198

Company & Directors' Information:- J J PROJECTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U24231WB1986PTC040246

Company & Directors' Information:- Z H PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400WB2012PTC184307

Company & Directors' Information:- K & J PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45203MH2004PTC150165

Company & Directors' Information:- T & I PROJECTS LTD [Active] CIN = L29130WB1984PLC038232

Company & Directors' Information:- B 2 R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2013PTC189971

Company & Directors' Information:- C M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL2004PTC130580

Company & Directors' Information:- N G PROJECTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201GJ2003PLC042152

Company & Directors' Information:- E AND C PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29150DL2002PTC115297

Company & Directors' Information:- B. D. R. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45202TG1998PTC028780

Company & Directors' Information:- J T L PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101KL2006PTC019439

Company & Directors' Information:- V AND S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109DL1996PTC079487

Company & Directors' Information:- L S R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U07010KA2005PTC036041

Company & Directors' Information:- V R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400AP2007PTC054901

Company & Directors' Information:- D C R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45209TG2007PTC056307

Company & Directors' Information:- R. R. PROJECTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U45200TG1982PTC003711

Company & Directors' Information:- S H PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74996DL2006PTC149971

Company & Directors' Information:- S R PROJECTS INDIA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U45207WB1981PTC033286

Company & Directors' Information:- L E PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45303WB2005PTC102555

Company & Directors' Information:- M. S. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2009PTC131902

Company & Directors' Information:- J V PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC069037

Company & Directors' Information:- B N PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201GJ2009PTC058067

Company & Directors' Information:- J P PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109WB2011PTC165990

Company & Directors' Information:- R K PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1990PTC043660

Company & Directors' Information:- A B PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200MH2004PTC149404

Company & Directors' Information:- B. BANSAL AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24246UP1996PTC020088

Company & Directors' Information:- A K PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201TG1996PTC023179

Company & Directors' Information:- S N M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102UP2010PTC040243

Company & Directors' Information:- J AND H PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200GJ2013PTC074010

Company & Directors' Information:- BANSAL PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2006PTC109228

Company & Directors' Information:- N S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2007PTC117882

Company & Directors' Information:- H S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45208DL2006PTC153706

Company & Directors' Information:- N M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29219DL2009PTC186728

Company & Directors' Information:- K. V. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102WB2012PTC188439

Company & Directors' Information:- M S BANSAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U55101UP1934PTC000591

Company & Directors' Information:- K R S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102AP2012PTC082232

Company & Directors' Information:- B S C PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200DL2011PTC227768

Company & Directors' Information:- J K PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45203GJ2001PTC039576

Company & Directors' Information:- F C C PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29248UP1982PTC005786

Company & Directors' Information:- S N PROJECTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110KA1996PLC021040

Company & Directors' Information:- B. D. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U45400WB2010PTC147620

Company & Directors' Information:- C & I PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29100DL2010PTC209136

Company & Directors' Information:- C & I PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2010PTC209136

Company & Directors' Information:- C B PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109WB1997PTC085237

Company & Directors' Information:- G G PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL1998PTC091501

Company & Directors' Information:- V M G PROJECTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400WB2011PTC164117

Company & Directors' Information:- M. L. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2010PTC151513

Company & Directors' Information:- R N D PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102DL1996PTC080051

Company & Directors' Information:- M. K. N. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101DL2009PTC196755

Company & Directors' Information:- M B R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45300KA2009PTC049005

Company & Directors' Information:- G S P PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201WB1992PTC057116

Company & Directors' Information:- K P S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102TG2005PTC046280

Company & Directors' Information:- E AND V PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70102TG2004PTC042622

Company & Directors' Information:- T M R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400DL2010ULT211007

Company & Directors' Information:- S C T PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201DL2008PTC184418

Company & Directors' Information:- P A PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45208WB1997PTC083907

Company & Directors' Information:- AMIT AND CO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1981PTC011918

Company & Directors' Information:- N K D PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2008PTC128819

Company & Directors' Information:- A I PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45203WB2000PTC091229

Company & Directors' Information:- P N PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45202DL2016PTC289494

Company & Directors' Information:- V AND M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL2005PTC139731

Company & Directors' Information:- K K PROJECTS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U70200WB1995PTC073058

Company & Directors' Information:- S L PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400AN2009PTC000109

Company & Directors' Information:- PROJECTS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U45201WB1951PTC019759

Company & Directors' Information:- V K M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400UP2011PTC045725

Company & Directors' Information:- K P PROJECTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U70101WB1996PTC077397

Company & Directors' Information:- C R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400PB2009PTC032572

Company & Directors' Information:- N D B K PROJECTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100PB2012PTC036987

Company & Directors' Information:- N P R PROJECTS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400TN2012PTC086360

Company & Directors' Information:- G P N PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101TZ2006PTC012749

Company & Directors' Information:- D H V PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45200TG2005PTC045988

Company & Directors' Information:- V K R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200TG2005PTC046370

Company & Directors' Information:- I N C PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109WB2005PTC101620

Company & Directors' Information:- J. S. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2009PTC136510

Company & Directors' Information:- D J PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15201DL2005PTC134979

Company & Directors' Information:- M S C K PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U70101DL2005PTC135407

Company & Directors' Information:- B R T PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45203TG1996PTC025021

Company & Directors' Information:- T AND M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201KA2008PTC045199

Company & Directors' Information:- A C G PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201UP1999PTC024162

Company & Directors' Information:- C K B PROJECTS INDIA LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70102WB2012PLC188740

Company & Directors' Information:- N E PROJECTS LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U16009AS1999PLC005873

Company & Directors' Information:- D R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2001PTC109612

Company & Directors' Information:- I J PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70102KA2009PTC049320

Company & Directors' Information:- G C N PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200KA2011PTC061371

Company & Directors' Information:- L N PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45200TG2004PTC043064

Company & Directors' Information:- H B PROJECTS PVT LTD [Amalgamated] CIN = U45201WB1993PTC058846

Company & Directors' Information:- I. T. G PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1994PTC063342

Company & Directors' Information:- P. S. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP and Dissolved] CIN = U70109WB2011PTC170655

Company & Directors' Information:- A R N PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45202MH2010PTC199122

Company & Directors' Information:- H. K. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400WB2007PTC116467

Company & Directors' Information:- D M C PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74140WB2005PTC105972

Company & Directors' Information:- S P PROJECTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400DL2010PTC203910

Company & Directors' Information:- J R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70109HR2012PTC045119

Company & Directors' Information:- C N R PROJECTS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201KA2007PTC041355

Company & Directors' Information:- J Y R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109TG2021PTC153917

Company & Directors' Information:- A J PROJECTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201MH2006PTC164622

Company & Directors' Information:- J M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200MP2007PTC019336

Company & Directors' Information:- L S S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400UP2013PTC059508

Company & Directors' Information:- A TO Z PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70101DL1995PTC069527

Company & Directors' Information:- G I T T PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201TG2006PTC051193

Company & Directors' Information:- Z & I PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45309TN2007PTC064972

Company & Directors' Information:- B. G. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400MH2012PTC231270

Company & Directors' Information:- P S R PROJECTS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400TG2015PTC101191

Company & Directors' Information:- E & E PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400UP2015PTC075033

Company & Directors' Information:- B B R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200TG2005PTC045165

Company & Directors' Information:- M V R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200TG2005PTC045166

Company & Directors' Information:- L V S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U45200TG2010PTC068286

Company & Directors' Information:- R N V PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70102UP2011PTC044240

Company & Directors' Information:- EASTERN CO PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74140WB1943PTC011182

Company & Directors' Information:- K L PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27104DL2003PTC119655

Company & Directors' Information:- K S M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400DL2009PTC194824

Company & Directors' Information:- R A BANSAL AND CO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1991PTC042802

Company & Directors' Information:- 3 G PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400DL2015PTC276736

Company & Directors' Information:- BANSAL AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2000PTC108131

Company & Directors' Information:- I S R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2005PTC138210

Company & Directors' Information:- L V PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2014PTC272838

Company & Directors' Information:- M K PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45201DL2002PTC117787

Company & Directors' Information:- B V M PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201DL2004PTC131352

Company & Directors' Information:- AMIT PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74120DL2007PTC163451

Company & Directors' Information:- K. J. S. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109DL2006PTC152898

Company & Directors' Information:- V N R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED. [Active] CIN = U45400AP2008PTC060896

Company & Directors' Information:- C R R PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400AP2015PTC097217

Company & Directors' Information:- A R P PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45200HR2012PTC044979

Company & Directors' Information:- H V PROJECTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U45202HR1997PTC033617

Company & Directors' Information:- V & V PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70109KA2005PTC037578

Company & Directors' Information:- M S S PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45202KA2005PTC037905

Company & Directors' Information:- C AND T PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74140GJ2009PTC057480

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND B PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45201GJ2007PTC051077

Company & Directors' Information:- B. P. S. R. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70109RJ2018PTC063238

Company & Directors' Information:- EASTERN CORPN PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1936PTC008577

Company & Directors' Information:- R M S PROJECTS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74210DL1975PTC007946

Company & Directors' Information:- A. R. PROJECTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U40200DL2007PTC161559

Company & Directors' Information:- SOUTH INDIA COMPANY LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U74900KL1952PLC001113

    Writ Petition (C) No. 2856 of 2020

    Decided On, 12 February 2021

    At, High Court of Chhattisgarh

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. P.R. RAMACHANDRA MENON & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PARTH PRATEEM SAHU

    For the Petitioner: Aman Saxena, Advocate. For the Respondents: Astha Shukla, Advocate.



Judgment Text

CAV OrderP.R. Ramachandra Menon, CJ.1. 'Correctness and sustainability' of Annexure P/1 proceedings to the extent it has 'ordered' forfeiture of the Earnest Money Deposit (for short 'the EMD') and the subsequent Annexure P/2 order whereby the Letter of Intent (for short 'the LoI') has been cancelled, EMD has been forfeited, Blacklisting has been 'enforced and ordered' for a period of 24 months and a Penalty of Rs.5,4068,855.43 has been imposed; is put to challenge in this writ petition.2. The sequence of events shows that Annexure P/4 tender notice was issued by the 1st Respondent on 03.12.2019 inviting bids for (i) hiring of pay loader for mechanical transfer of coal into tippers at stock yard, (ii) hiring of tippers for transportation of coal from coal stock yard for a certain quantity and duration of time. On coming out successful in the tender and on getting placed at L-1, the Petitioner was awarded Annexure P/5 LoI on 15.02.2020, informing that the EMD of Rs. 15,04,900/- remitted by the Petitioner would be retained by the 1st Respondent, to be adjusted against the Performance Security Deposit (for short, 'the PSD') to be satisfied (Rs. 40,07,449/-) within 28 days and further alerting the necessity to satisfy the Additional Performance Security Deposit of Rs. 2,66,91,053/- in terms of Clause 4.6 of the General Terms & Conditions of the contract alongwith the Normal Performance Security. As per the very same proceedings, the Petitioner was also required to mobilise the equipments for executing the work and to commence the work within 10 days from the date of issuance of the LoI.3. It is the case of the Petitioner that before getting the LoI, the Petitioner had submitted Annexure P/7 application to the Bankers on 20.01.2020 for renewal of the Bank Guarantee limit which came to be approved by the Bank as per Annexure P/8 dated 19.02.2020. In view of the stipulation to furnish Additional Performance Security in terms of the tender and as pointed out in Annexure P/5, the Petitioner vide Annexure P/9 dated 20.02.2020 requested the Bankers to enhance the Bank Guarantee limit to Rs. 4,00,00,000/- from the already sanctioned limit of Rs.2,00,00,000/-. On 02.03.2020, the Petitioner submitted Annexure P/10 representation before the Respondents seeking waiver of the requirement to satisfy the Additional Performance Security. But since the requirements as per the tender conditions were not satisfied and the work was not commenced, Annexure P/12 show-cause notice was issued by the Respondents on 11.03.2020. The Bankers rejected the request of the Petitioner to enhance the Bank Guarantee limit on 17.03.2020, when the Petitioner submitted Annexure P/13 representation dated 18.03.2020, in reply to Annexure P/12 notice, expressing the inability to meet the requirement as to the satisfaction of Additional Performance Security. The very next day, the Petitioner was served with Annexure P/1 dated 19.03.2020, styled as a 'Notice' but conveying the course of action by the Management for:(i) cancellation of the LoI,(ii) forfeiture of the EMD and(iii) debarring the Petitioner from participating in the future tender for a period of 12 months.4. Nothing transpired for nearly six months and on 28.09.2020, Annexure P/2 order of termination/penal action was issued, referring to the lapse of the Petitioner and also as to the infringement of the various Clauses (Clause 4.3, 4.6 and 9.2) of the General Terms and Conditions of the tender and passing the orders to the following effect:"(i) Cancellation of LOI No. SECL/BSP/CMC/78 dated 15.02.2020.(ii) Forfeiture of Earnest Money Deposit of the successful bidder M/s. SBJ Projects Private Limited.(iii) Debarring of successful bidder M/s. SBJ Projects Private Limited from participating in future bids in SECL for a period of 24 (twenty four) months.(iv) Imposition of penalty of Rs. 5,40,68,855.43 (excl. GST) as per Clause 9.2(b)(iii) i.e. 20% of value of incomplete work including price variation as applicable on the date, when notice in writing for termination of work was issued to the contractor."5. It is contended that there is absolutely no rhyme or reason for having passed two different orders (Annexure P/1 and Annexure P/2) at different times imposing different punishments, that too, Blacklisting the Petitioner virtually doubling the extent from '12 months' in Annexure P/1 to '24 months' in Annexure P/2 and mulcting a huge Penalty of Rs.5,40,68,855.43 (vide Annexure P/2), besides forfeiture of the EMD. It is further contended that the proceedings are per-se wrong and illegal, more so when no proper opportunity of hearing was given before ordering the Penalty and also the Blacklisting of the Petitioner.6. A reply has been filed on behalf of the Respondents pointing out that the writ petition itself is not maintainable by virtue of the availability of alternate remedy by way of 'Arbitration' as provided under Clause 13 of the General Terms & Conditions. Maintainability is also questioned, for the reason that the matter involves disputed questions of facts which cannot be adjudicated in a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. The facts and sequence have been given in the reply, pointing out that despite the clear instructions given as per Annexure P/5 LoI, the work was never commenced by the Petitioner, nor had they satisfied the Performance Guarantee and the Additional Performance Guarantee in terms of the tender conditions. This made the Respondents to issue Annexure P/12 show cause notice which was replied as per Annexure P/13, wherein the factual position stands conceded, however stating that due to "financial crunch", the Petitioner was having difficulty in arranging such a large amount of Additional Bank Guarantee within the stipulated period of time.7. According to the Respondents, Annexure P/1 is not an Order but a Notice issued by the 2nd Respondent as to the consequences that would be resulted because of the lapse on the part of the Petitioner, and on intimating the position to the Competent Authority, decision was taken as shown in Annexure P/2. For this reason, it is stated that the Blacklisting mentioned in Annexure P/1 as of '12 months' as against the order of Blacklisting for '24 months' vide Annexure P/2 is of no consequence, as the terminology used in the relevant Clause is 'minimum 12 months'. It was after considering all the facts and figures, that the Competent Authority decided to have the Blacklisting effected for '24 months'. It is also pointed out that the Penalty has been imposed strictly in terms of the relevant Clauses in the tender conditions as specifically mentioned in Annexure P/2 (Clause 9.2) and there is no violation of the principles of natural justice under any circumstance. The Respondents have also pointed out that as per Clause 23 of the NIT, the award of work would constitute the formation of contract and on participating in the tender, the Petitioner had accepted all the terms and conditions of the tender. More so, since Clause 7 of the 'Instructions to Bidders' categorically specified the set of bidding documents which included (i) E-tender notice, (ii) Instructions to bidders, (iii) conditions of contract (General Terms & Conditions, Special Terms and Conditions, Special Note and Additional Terms and Conditions, Vocational Training and Safety Norms etc.). It is pointed out that as per Clause 4.5 of the General Terms & Conditions, the Additional Performance Security had to be deposited within a period of 21 days from the date of issuance of the LoI which was well within the knowledge of the Petitioner, who hence cannot plead ignorance. The failure to satisfy the Performance Security and Additional Performance Security will constitute sufficient ground for cancellation of the award of work and forfeiture of the bid security. As mentioned in the relevant Clauses referred to in Annexure P/2, it is further pointed out that the contention of the Petitioner that lapse of the Petitioner having been resulted due to 'Covid-19' pandemic is an act of 'Force Majeure'-is not at all correct and that the LoI was issued way back in February 2020; adding that all the other contractors were functioning under similar circumstances in the Respondent-Company and its various subsidiaries.8. Shri Aman Saxena, the learned counsel for the Petitioner made submissions in tune with the pleadings raised in the writ petition, while Ms. Astha Shukla, the learned counsel representing the Respondent/SECL addressed the Court in conformity with the pleadings raised in the reply statement.9. Citing the judgment rendered by the Apex Court in Surjit Singh & Others v. State of Punjab; {1984 (Supp) SCC 518}, the learned counsel for the Petitioner submits that enhancement of punishment without proper notice is not correct or sustainable. Since the Blacklisting ordered in Annexure P/1 is only for a period of 12 months, it has been quite arbitrarily enhanced to 24 months in Annexure P/2 which hence is sought to be interdicted. The learned counsel also submits that there is absolutely no rhyme or reason for imposing a huge Penalty of Rs. 5,4068,855.43, more so, when Clause 9.2 sought to be relied on by the Respondents is not applicable and further since no agreement has been executed between the Petitioner and the Respondents. After obtaining the LoI, though the Petitioner requested the Bankers to enhance the Bank Guarantee, it came to be rejected as per Annexure P/11 referring to Covid-19 pandemic, the skeletal staff strength and the risk measures to be followed as per the new RBI guidelines (in the light of Covid-19-informing that they cannot do the needful "at the juncture"). According to the learned counsel, it is an act of 'Force Majeure' and in the said circumstance, forfeiture of EMD and imposing huge Penalty, going further by Blacklisting the Petitioner for 24 months as per Annexure P/2, that too, without any notice (while mentioning in Annexure P/1 as it is of '12 months') is highly arbitrary and liable to be interfered by this Court.10. Ms. Astha Shukla, the learned counsel for the Respondents submits that the bid quoted by the Petitioner was much less than the estimated cost and by virtue of the extent of gap, it was clearly stipulated in the tender that the Additional Performance Security has to be satisfied which was very much known to the Petitioner at the time of participating in the tender and quoting the bid amount. The satisfaction of the Additional Performance Security was required to be satisfied as per Annexure P/5 LoI, which admittedly has not been done. The Petitioner has not deposited the normal Performance Guarantee as well. Annexure P/13 reply, in response to Annexure P/12 show cause notice, is virtually conceding the inability because of the 'financial constraints'; which substantiates the lapse on the part of the Petitioner. Admittedly, the work was never commenced, and as such, the Respondents were justified in proceeding with further steps strictly in terms of the tender conditions as notified, relevant Clauses of which have been referred to and relied on while passing Annexure P/2 order by the Competent Authority. The learned counsel submits that there is no conflict between Annexure P/1 and Annexure P/2.11. On hearing both the sides and on going through the materials on record, it is evident that the Petitioner challenges Annexure P/1 only to the extent it forfeits the EMD, while there is no grievance with regard to the cancellation of the LoI or as to the debarring for participation in the future tender for a period of 12 months, which is stated as being challenged separately before other appropriate forum, by way of other appropriate measures. According to the Respondents, Annexure P/1 is not an order, but a 'proposal' and if so, the first question to be considered is with regard to the justifiability of the forfeiture of the EMD ordered as per Annexure P/2 alongwith imposition of Penalty of Rs.5,40,68,855.43.12. Clause 4.3 of the General Terms & Conditions of the tender stipulates that the failure of the successful bidder in providing the Performance Security shall constitute sufficient ground for cancellation of the award of work and forfeiture of the bid security. But while coming to Clause 4.6 of the General Terms & Conditions with regard to the burden of the successful bidder to provide Additional Performance Security (if the bid price is below 15% of the estimated cost put to tender), the amount of such Additional Performance Security shall be the difference between 85% of the estimated cost put to tender and the quoted price. The said Clause stipulates that failure to satisfy the Additional Performance Security may result in termination of the contract. From this, it is evident that different terminology has been used with reference to the failure to deposit the 'Performance Guarantee' under Clause 4.3 (where it 'shall constitute' a ground for cancellation of the award of work) while under Clause 4.6, dealing with the failure to satisfy the 'Additional Performance Security', it involves some discretion because of the usage of the term 'may'. However, the Petitioner has neither satisfied the Performance Security nor the Additional Performance Security as on the date of passing of Annexure P/2 order. Clause 4.3 of the General Terms & Conditions, besides giving the right for cancellation of the award of work for failure of the successful bidder to satisfy the Performance Security, also enables the awarder Company to debar such defaulting contractor from participating in future bids for a "minimum period of 12 months". It may be with reference to this Clause that the Blacklisting is mentioned as for a period of '12 months' in Annexure P/1.13. Clause 9.2(b) of the notice inviting tender also stipulates that on termination of the contract, the contractor shall not be allowed to participate in the future bid for a minimum period of '12 months'. It may be with reference to the said Clause as well, that the debarring mentioned in Annexure P/1 is stated as of '12 months'. But when it comes to Annexure P/2 order stated as passed by the Competent Authority, the Blacklisting is ordered for a period of '24 months'. The explanation made by the learned counsel for the Respondents is that the provision only mentions the "minimum period" and hence the Competent Authority is justified in imposing Blacklisting for '24 months'. But after having mentioned the proposal (if it be so) to Blacklist for a period of '12 months' in Annexure P/1, even if the version of the Company is accepted that it is only a 'notice/proposal', no reason is stated or discernible from Annexure P/2 as to why it was sought to be enhanced from the minimum period of 12 months to 24 months. Non-mentioning of reason for such a drastic course of action in Annexure P/2 (and even in the reply filed from the part of the Respondents) makes the said proceedings not legally acceptable. This is more so, since no opportunity of hearing was given to the Petitioner as to the Blacklisting in Annexure P/12 show-cause notice. That apart, but for informing the 'proposal' as to the consequence in Annexure P/1 (even if it is treated as a 'notice') no explanation was called for as to the proposal to Blacklist the Petitioner; which presumably made the Petitioner to conceive Annexure P/1 as an 'order' (which apparently gives such an idea) though it is styled as a 'Notice'. It is settled law, as per the rulings rendered by the Apex Court on many an occasion, that the act of Blacklisting is having serious consequences and as such, it cannot be ordered without calling for explanation as to the proposed step for Blacklisting. The period for which Blacklisting is ordered also depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case, which can be decided only after considering the explanation to be offered by the party in this regard. [See: Gorkha Security Services v. Government (NCT of Delhi) and Others; {(2014) 9 SCC 105}, Vetindia Pharmaceuticals Limited v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another; {Civil Appeal No.3647 of 2020 vide judgment dated 06.11.2020}, UMC Technologies Private Limited v. Food Corporation of India and Another, {Civil Appeal No.3687 of 2020 vide judgment dated 16.11.2020}, Medipol Pharmaceuticals India Pvt. Ltd. v. Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research and Another; {Civil Appeal No.2903 of 2020 vide judgment dated 05.08.2020}].14. Similarly, the Quantum of Penalty, if to be awarded in terms of Clause 9.2, also depends on various facts and circumstances as Penalty cannot be imposed as a matter of course; but to be ordered with proper application of mind, depending upon the culpability involved. Further, the 'Penalty' to be imposed as per Clause 9.2 of the General Terms & Conditions of the tender is with reference to the loss caused to the Company. This shows that there has to be proper application of mind with regard to the relevant facts and figures in computing the 'loss' as well and to have it realised in the form of Penalty to be mulcted on th

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e parties concerned. Here again, the Respondents have gone wrong in pursuing the proper 'decision making process' and hence it requires reconsideration.15. We however accept the submissions made on behalf of the Respondents, as to whether the circumstances mentioned by the Petitioner (the inability of the Petitioner connecting it to the consequence of 'Covid-19' pandemic situation) could be treated as an act of 'Force Majeure' or not in view of the disputed facts and circumstances, cannot be adjudicated by this Court in a proceeding under Article 226 of the Constitution. This is more so in view of the limited scope of judicial interference in contract matters, by virtue of law declared by the Apex Court in Jagdish Mandal v. State of Orissa & Others; (2007) 14 SCC 517. In the said circumstances, the challenge raised by the Petitioner against the forfeiture of the EMD mentioned in Annexure P/1 and the same ordered as per Annexure P/2 as well as the cancellation of the LoI and forfeiture of the EMD ordered as per Annexure P/2, stands repelled. If the Petitioner is aggrieved of the same, it is open for them to pursue their grievance, by way of other appropriate remedies including Clause 13 of the General Terms & Conditions of the tender; in accordance with law.16. The Blacklisting of the Petitioner ordered for a period of '24 months' and imposition of Penalty of Rs. 5,40,68,855.43 as per Annexure P/2 having not issued any prior notice seeking explanation, stand set aside as the 'decision making process' is bad. This is without prejudice to the rights and liberties of the Respondents to proceed with further steps in this regard by issuing a proper notice calling for explanation and after affording an opportunity of hearing in this regard, before passing a 'speaking order' to sustain the course of action sought to be pursued.17. The writ petition stands allowed in part.
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