The Karnataka High Court in a case has directed that the premises that are already allotted to third parties shall not be disturbed and that the proceedings be accomplished by passing award within 3 months.

A writ petition was filed praying to quash the e-tender notification and directing the respondents to consider the representations.

A Single Bench of Justice Krishna S. Dixit said, “The premises that are already allotted to third parties pursuant impugned e-Tender Notification shall not be disturbed by the Petitioner and the premises that are not so let out, shall be handed to the Petitioner immediately after he deposits with the second Respondent one year advance rent/license fee at the enhanced rate under the existing arrangement.”

Senior Advocate Lakshmy Iyengar appeared for the petitioner while Advocate P.D. Surana appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the petitioner, claiming to be an ongoing contractor, was tapping the writ jurisdiction of the Court against the notification issued by the Divisional Controller, KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) i.e., the respondent calling for e-Tender inter alia in respect of commercial complexes in the KSRTC bus stand at Hassan.

The senior counsel for the petitioner sought to falter the tender in question on the ground of force majeure namely COVID-19 Pandemic. The two Central Government Notifications had the effect of elongating the twelve year contract period pro tanto and that there was lapse on the part of respondents in discharging certain contractual obligations.

The High Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel observed, “Learned advocates appearing for the parties had relied upon certain decisions during the course of their arguments. However, they have not been in so many words referred to in the course of judgment since the latest views of the Apex Court on the same points avail and that the same are discussed. This is being stated only to pre-empt the possible complaint that the Rulings cited at the Bar are not adverted to.”

The Court noted that the e-tender notification shall not be given effect to till after and subject to outcome of the arbitration proceedings that are stated to have been instituted.

“… the said proceedings shall be accomplished by passing the award preferably within a period of three months. All contentions of the parties are kept open, and nothing observed herein above shall cast their light or shadow on the arbitration proceedings”, ordered the Court.

Accordingly, the High Court partly allowed the petition.

Cause Title- H.N. Pruthivinarayan v. The Managing Director & Anr.

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