In a major relief to agri co-operative NACOF, the High Court of Jharkhand quashed the order of the state govt which blacklisted it from the job of paddy procurement in the state. After hearing two sides the High Court ruled” “Under the aforesaid circumstance, the impugned order dated 29.06.2017 passed by the respondent no. 2(govt) is hereby quashed”.
It bears recall that NACOF was debarred on the charges of delayed payment to the farmers. Despite NACOF informing the govt that the payment of farmers of 12 districts of the state to the tune of Rs. 65 crores against the paddy which reached the rice mills, has been made, the govt blacklisted it.
In its letter to the govt NACOF asked the govt to send the remaining paddy to the rice mills so that the balance amount can also be settled off by the petitioner but instead the state govt the impugned order dated 29.06.2017 blacklisting it, argued its Counsel in the court.
The govt side argued that several complaints were received by the authorities that NACOF did not pay the price of paddy to the farmers. Repeated directions were issued to it for making payment to the farmers by video conferencing, departmental meetings and issuing letters, however, the same were not complied.
FCI also argued in the court and said that NACOF has wrongly contended that the FCI did not co-operate with it. It also said that the quality check was the responsibility of the procuring agencies.
NACOF argued that it had informed the authorities that the paddy was not being picked up from the godowns of PACS/LAMPS in time and if at all picked up, the millers failed to deliver the CMR to the FCI within time. Since the paddy was not being lifted from the PACS/LAMPS godown timely, such delay on the part of PACS/LAMPS and rice mills directly affected the petitioner’s payment process as the petitioner was supposed to release payment only when the standard quality of paddy was determined by the FCI.
“It has further been contended that there was difference between actual quantity of paddy lifted by the rice mills and the quantity reported by PACS/LAMPS, thus making payment for the paddy which had not been delivered, would have been in violation of Section 9 of the Jharkhand Custom Milled Rice (Liability and Control) Order, 2016 dated 01.12.2016”, NACOF argued in the High Court.
Listening both the sides, the High Court ruled that the fact that the petitioner has been blacklisted for an indefinite period is contrary to the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in the case of “M/s Kulja Industries Limited Vs. Chief Gen. Manager, Western Telecom Project Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited & Ors.”
“In the aforesaid case, it has been specifically held that the debarment can never be permanent. In the present case also, the petitioner has been blacklisted without specifying the period which is contrary to the ratio laid down in the aforesaid judgment. Otherwise also, Clause 17 of the agreement specifies that if the petitioner makes any violation of terms and conditions of the contract, penal action will be taken against him under the relevant provision. Neither in the show cause nor in the impugned order, the respondent no. 2 (govt) has mentioned the provision under which the said authority has proceeded against the petitioner to blacklist” the HC observed.
“So far as the other reliefs sought in the present writ petition are concerned, the same are governed by the terms and conditions of the agreement and if the petitioner is aggrieved by any of the actions of the respondents, it may seek appropriate remedy as provided under law”, the judgement read.
“Under the aforesaid circumstance, the impugned order dated 29.06.2017 passed by the respondent no. 2(govt) is hereby quashed”, the court ruled.