Supreme Court Judgment – National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd vs M/s Ashok Kumar Singh & Ors

(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No.5811 of 2014)
National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. …Appellant
M/s Ashok Kumar Singh & Ors. …Respondents

The appellant-corporation floated two tenders one dated 17/10/2012 and the other dated 19/11/2012 for construction of a shed and a boundary wall. The respondent contractor submitted two separate tenders in response to the said tender notices enclosing therewith an amount of Rs.4,41,000/- and Rs.3,34,000/- respectively towards earnest money deposit. The tenders were in two parts, one technical and the other commercial. While the technical bids were opened and found compliant, the financial bids had yet to be opened when the respondents moved an application addressed to the AGM (C&M) of the appellant-corporation at Rai Bareilly withdrawing the bids submitted by it and asking for being excluded from consideration besides praying for refund of the earnest money deposited with the bids. This was followed by a representation on 1/5/2013 whereby the respondent once again asked for the return of the earnest money deposited by them. In response to the said representation, the appellant-corporation issued a letter dated 26/4/2013 stating that although the bids offered by the respondent were not being considered, the prayer for refund of earnest money could not be considered as the same stood forfeited. Aggrieved by the said order, the respondent filed Writ Petition No. 9620 (MB) of 2013 before the High Court challenging the refusal of refund of the earnest money deposit. The said petition was opposed by the appellant herein but was allowed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, in terms of a brief order holding that since respondent’s case was not covered by condition No. 2 of the Special Conditions of contract of the appellant-corporation, the refusal of refund of the earnest money deposited by the respondent was unjustified….read more