Mumbai-based STUP Consultants on Monday approached the Kerala High Court seeking to quash the order to terminate the project consultancy services agreement signed with Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) for the construction of the airport.
STUP submitted that it had not been given sufficient opportunity to explain its position with regard to the alleged blacklisting order by the Punjab state government before cancelling the agreement. It was only given two days, including a Sunday, to reply to the showcause notice issued by KIAL. Therefore, the principles of natural justice had been violated by KIAL. It said that though the Punjab government had blacklisted the company in 2007, government agencies in Punjab continued to award it various projects. This impliedly meant that the blacklisting of the company had been lifted or cancelled. In fact, it still enjoyed the status of an empanelled consultant. In fact, debarring the company from taking up any project indefinitely was bad in law, petition pointed out.
The petitioner also sought a directive to restrain KIAL from awarding the contract to any other company. On August 21, STUP and KIAL executed a project consultancy service agreement. It was signed on behalf of the consortium of STUP-DARASHAW by the company being the lead partner thereof. KIAL found that the company obtained the contract after suppressing the fact relating to eligibility norms and that it had violated the Request for Proposal (RFP) conditions.