The Clifton Cantonment Board (CBC) has claimed that it played no favourites to award the contract of conservancy services in its area.
In its counter affidavit filed on Friday with the Sindh High Court against the complaint filed by Saleh Brothers, the municipal body stated that the aggrieved company’s representatives had arrived late at the bidding and were thus barred from participating in the tender process. For its part, Saleh Brothers earlier told the judge that they were prevented from taking part in the bidding as armed guards did not let them in.
The company was marked absent and the new contract was awarded to Nisar Jan & Company and Amir Sawab & Brothers for Rs9.3 million per month for one year.
On Friday, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the lawsuit against CBC’s decision to award the conservancy contract to the highest bidder instead of the lowest.
In the past three years, Saleh Brothers provided its garbage collection services to the residents of Defence and Clifton. It paid CBC Rs5.9 million for the contract and intended to bid for another.
On August 16, the court had ordered the cantonment board to come to defend itself in the next hearing.
According to the CBC, neither did it favour any participant nor was Saleh Brothers stopped from participating in the bidding.
Saleh Brothers has maintained, however, that a company with stakes in the business cannot afford delays or late arrivals at such an important process. “Saleh Brothers eagerly contest the CBC attempts to award contracts to other firms and any lapse on its part in such a situation is unbelievable,” submitted Saleh Brothers lawyer Shoua-un-Nabi.
The difference between the tender submitted by the petitioner firm and the company which won the contract was almost 100 per cent. As a result of the new contract, the CBC will charge Rs380 million more during the next three years.
The petitioner’s counsel, however, sought time to file a rejoinder in reply to the defence taken by the CBC at which the judge put off further proceedings until September 9.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2012.