This matter is of great relevance as the road industry has always faced the impact of arbitrary decisions of the authorities. Even in the present case, the challenge was regarding an order of debarment vide which DBL was debarred for 4 months, only on the basis of registration of a FIR against DBL by CBI. Notably, the competent authority which passed the order, never gave an opportunity of hearing to DBL.
DBL’s Counsels canvassed before the High Court of Delhi that although the show cause notice was issued by NHAI, MORTH passed the impugned Order on 20.08.2022 without following the due process of law. It was highlighted that DBL was debarred even without providing relied upon documents which violations by DBL were alleged, and without providing the opportunity of being heard in a reasonable manner, which is known to law. It was also argued that both NHAI and MORTH are duty bound to act without prejudice and without any pre-determined mindset and in the instant case, they have failed to do so and acted in an arbitrary manner and with undue haste. Thus, interference of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi was prayed.
Senior Advocates Mr. Sandeep Sethi and Mr. Jayant Mehta, assisted by S&A Law Offices team led by Mr. Nilava Bandyopadhyay, Senior Partner, Mr. Anurag Abhishek, Partner and Ms. Vijaya Singh, Partner appeared for DBL before the Delhi High Court.
This interim order will have far-reaching consequences on the road industry as a whole because it will tremendously boost the confidence of the diligent commercial entities working in the road sector as it will manifests the known law that Govt. entities cannot pass any arbitrary order on baseless allegations on their whims and fancies.