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Case Law Details

Case Name : Parik and Company Vs State of Bihar (Patna High Court)
Appeal Number : Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.12687 of 2023
Date of Judgement/Order : 08/05/2024
Related Assessment Year :
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Parik and Company Vs State of Bihar (Patna High Court)

Introduction: The Patna High Court recently dismissed a petition filed by Parik and Company, a Chartered Accountant (CA) firm, challenging their non-empanelment by the State of Bihar. The firm argued that their exclusion was unjust, primarily due to the stipulations outlined in a Notice Inviting Tender (NIT). The court’s decision hinged on the firm’s non-compliance with specific conditions regarding the continuous presence of a branch office in Bihar.

Background and Grounds of the Petition: Parik and Company filed the petition, feeling aggrieved by their non-empanelment as per the NIT issued by the Rural Development Department of Bihar. The NIT, initially released in January 2023, invited applications from eligible CA firms, with the final submission date extended to May 8, 2023. A key requirement was for firms headquartered outside Bihar to maintain a branch office within the state continuously for at least five years, a condition modified slightly by a corrigendum issued on April 27, 2023.

Contentions of the Petitioner: The petitioner argued that the corrigendum, dated after the initial submission deadline, should not retroactively apply to their bid. They contended that, as of April 24, 2023, there was no specific requirement for a five-year certificate, and thus their non-empanelment was unjust. The interim order from another division bench had initially directed the authorities to reconsider the firm’s application based on these arguments.

Respondent’s Defense and Court’s Observations: The respondents maintained that the corrigendum did not alter the critical condition which the petitioner failed to meet: proof of the branch office’s continuous existence in Bihar for five years. The court noted that the original NIT included this requirement and that the corrigendum merely provided clarity, not additional burdens. The petitioner failed to submit the necessary Firm Constitution Certificate (FCC) proving their branch office’s five-year tenure, leading to their disqualification.

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July 2024