The Kerala High Court on Thursday upheld the decision of the Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) to terminate the consultancy agreement signed with STUP Consultants Pvt Ltd for the construction of the airport.

Justice T.R. Ramachandran Nair while dismissing the writ petition filed by STUP observed that he did not find any reason to interfere with the decision of the KIAL.

According to the KAIL, the agreement had been scrapped after it was found that the company had obtained the contract after misrepresenting facts relating to eligibility norms. One of the eligibility criteria prescribed was that the bidders should not have been earlier blacklisted, or failed to perform any of their previous contracts.

STUP contended that no sufficient opportunity had been accorded to the company to explain its stand before the agreement was cancelled. It was only given two days, including a Sunday, to reply to a show-cause notice issued by KIAL. Had it been given sufficient time, it would have explained the blacklisting of the company with the support of documents.

It argued that though the Punjab Government had blacklisted the company in 2007, the government agencies in Punjab continued to award it various projects. In fact, it still enjoyed the status of an empanelled consultant. According to the petitioner, debarring the company from taking up any project was bad in law.

The petitioner company said that the action of KIAL was illegal and sought quashing of the cancellation order. It also sought to restrain KIAL from awarding the contract to any other companies.

(This article was published on November 1, 2012)
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