DR. JUSTICE B.R. SARANGI

Purna Chandra Mohapatra v. State of Orissa and Anr.

Case Number: W.P.(C) No. 11445 of 2011

Coram: Dr. Justice B.R Sarangi and Justice Savitri Ratho

Date of Decision: 22nd March, 2022

In this case, the Petitioner had challenged the legality and propriety of the order dated 11.08.2010 passed by the Orissa Administrative Tribunal, Bhubaneswar wherein the Petitioner’s prayer towards seeking stepping up of his pay at par with his junior, was dismissed. The Petitioner’s junior- Shri Mohanty was subordinate to the Petitioner both in OAS Class-II and OAS Class-I (Jr) cadres, but was getting higher scale of pay than the Petitioner.

The Petitioner argued that various similarly situated persons were granted stepping up of their pay since their juniors were getting more pay than them. Therefore, he is also entitled for the same as his case involves similar circumstances. On the other hand, the Opposite Party contended that the petitioner was not entitled to get the relief sought by him as the petitioner’s pay was lesser than that of Shri Mohanty before they were taken into the OAS cadre.

This Court observed that there was discrimination with regard to extension of similar benefits to the petitioner and it violated Article 14 as the opposite parties had allowed a number of OAS officers to step up pay at par with their juniors, who were drawing higher pay in lower post/cadre. The Court remarked that the Petitioner’s case was identical to other similarly situated persons and therefore, the order of the Orissa Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, Bhubaneswar was liable to be quashed. Accordingly, the writ petition was allowed.

M/s Lallooji & Sons and Anr. v. State of Odisha and Ors.

Case Number: W.P.(C) NO. 11524 OF 2022

Coram: Dr. Justice B.R Sarangi, Justice S.K Mishra

Date of decision: 13th July 2022

In this case, the Petitioners had challenged the show-cause notice dated 5th January, 2022, blacklisting/declaring the Petitioner’s firm as ineligible from participating in procurement process by Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha, and consequential order dated 28th April, 2022 whereby the Petitioner’s firm was blacklisted for a period of two years on the ground that the same is violative of terms of Requests for Proposal (RFP) dated 31st March, 2021 and 21st September, 2021.

The Petitioners argued that the Petitioner-Firm had not even fully participated in the tender process, let alone being awarded the contract. Thereby, the entire action of blacklisting the Petitioner-Firm, vide order dated 28th April, 2022, cannot be sustained and the same is liable to be quashed. As such, Opposite Party No.1 has entirely failed to distinguish the scope and effect of an order of ineligibility and that of blacklisting.

On the other hand, the Opposite Party contended that as per the terms and conditions of the RFPs, where any information provided by a Bidder is found to be patently false or amounting to a material misrepresentation, Department of Tourism reserves the right to reject the proposal. As such, the Petitioner-Firm had not furnished the information, as required under Sub-Clause- (f) Part-A (Technical Proposal) of Clause-22 of the RFPs, and therefore, notice of Show Cause was issued for blacklisting.

This Court observed that the Petitioner-Firm had been doubly jeopardized, which was violative of Article 20 of the Constitution of India. The Court held that on one hand, the Petitioner-Firm was found ineligible for which it approached this Court, and on the other hand, when litigation was pending, the order of blacklisting was passed. Therefore, the order of blacklisting dated 28th April, 2022 was not sustainable in the eye of law and the same was liable to be quashed. Accordingly, the writ petition was allowed.