Courts Update Uttarakhand HC orders adverse comments against Army contractor to...

Uttarakhand HC orders adverse comments against Army contractor to be removed

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New Delhi, May 22 (ILNS): The Uttarakhand High Court has given directions to the effect that adverse comments against a contractor may be removed, because the contractor had not delayed completion of a project on purpose, but because of reasons beyond his control.

The Single Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Tewari on Thursday directed the Chief Engineer, Central Command, to pass appropriate orders on the recommendation made by the Chief Engineer, Military Engineering Services, Bareilly Zone, within two weeks.

The Petitioner is a partnership firm, which deals in civil construction work, and is enlisted with Military Engineering Services. The petitioner was awarded two contracts, namely:
(i) Construction of Baffle Range at Dehradun and
(ii) Construction work

Sandeep Kothari, Counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the first Contract, namely the Construction of Baffle Range, was to be completed on or before December 31, 2020 and the said work was completed by the petitioner within the stipulated time.

Regarding the second work, namely the Construction work for Second Artillery Regiment at Birpur, Dehradun, the Counsel for the petitioner submitted that initially, the second work was to be completed on or before August 29, 2021.

However, the said deadline was subsequently extended by the Competent Authority up to March 2, 2022, due to the collapse of the bridge leading to the construction site and various other reasons.

According to the petitioner, there is no delay on his part in executing the work, therefore, the remarks made against the name of the petitioner in the quarterly work load return for Contractors that the petitioner is not capable to handle more load due to slow progress is uncalled for and liable to be removed.

Pankaj Chaturvedy, Central Government Standing Counsel, on instructions, submitted that the Office of Chief Engineer, Military Engineering Services, Bareilly Zone has recommended to Chief Engineer, Central Command, to remove the adverse remarks mentioned against the name of the petitioner in the quarterly work load return issued on March 17, 2021.

He further submitted that the petitioner had executed the work pursuant to the first contract well within time and regarding the second work, he stated that the deadline, initially fixed, has not expired as yet and the Competent Authority has further extended the deadline to March 5, 2022.

The Single Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Tewari, while considering the petition, held that since the Chief Engineer, Military Engineering Services, Bareilly Zone has himself recommended for removing the adverse remarks of slow progress mentioned against the name of the petitioner in the quarterly work load return, the final decision is to be taken by the Chief Engineer, Central Command.

“Therefore, the writ petition is disposed of with a direction to respondent no 1 (Chief Engineer, Central Command) to pass appropriate order, in accordance with law, on the recommendation made by respondent no 2 (Chief Engineer, Military Engineering Services, Bareilly Zone) as early as possible, but not later than two weeks from today,” the order read. ILNS\SS\SJ\RJ

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