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    Jammu KashmirArbitration between Power Dev Corp, Pvt Co

    Arbitration between Power Dev Corp, Pvt Co


    Arbitration between Power Dev Corp, Pvt Co

    Govt officials ‘mis-handled’ case for 2 decades

    NL Correspondent

    SRINAGAR: While a probe has been initiated into the alleged negligence by legal officers in arbitration between the JK State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) and a private company, the official documents elaborate how the case has been lingering on for the last over two decades due to the successive governments’ “mishandling”.

    According to the official documents accessed by North Lines, a New Delhi-based private company (referred to a contractor in the documents) was allotted works for the construction of water conductors on Sumbal Link Channel and Power House Division of USHP-II.

    The date of completion of the works was set as November 30, 1989.

    Subsequently, another work at Wangath Link was also awarded to the contractor. The work was to be completed by August 31, 1990, and the total value of the contract was approximately Rs 1121.35 lakh.

    The documents show that from the very beginning, the contractor has been complaining that he was facing difficulties in executing the works.

    He abandoned the work due to law and order situation in the valley and did not resume the work in 1990, the documents reveal.

    Eventually, the contract was terminated and the pending work was assigned to another contractor.

    The details reveal that the company filed an application under J&K Arbitration Act in court and claimed penalty to the tune of Rs 9 crore.

    The concerned JKSPDC authorities filed a counter claim before the Arbitral Tribunal, demanding about Rs 9 crore from the company.

    The Tribunal, according to documents, decided in favour of the company, directing the state to pay Rs 6 crore with an 18 per cent per annum interest for the period between January 4, 1993, and August 31, 2005—the day on which the order as passed.

    The counter claims were outrightly rejected by the tribunal.

    The tribunal, in June 2013, rejected the second application filed by the JKSPDC to claim Rs 58, 14, 623 (loss of profit on balance work) from the company. But the tribunal upheld its August-2015 order.

    An official, dealing with the documentation of the case, explained that it has emerged from the details that the law officers had not pleaded the case properly over the years.

    “The documents indicate that the state may lose the case, which can cost upto Rs 21.83 crore. This has happened because the case was not pursued properly by the government officials,” the official said.

    The matter was also raised in JKPDC’s review meeting of arbitration matters and the subsequent financial implications held on last Friday under the chairmanship of Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq.

    The minister, according to the sources, told the officers, “How can there be such negligence that they have not pleaded case properly? Mishandling of the arbitration case by law officers may result in substantial loss of Rs 21 crore to the state exchequer.”

    The Minister subsequently asked the Secretary Law to conduct an enquiry into the matter and fix responsibility with respect to the negligence and mishandling of the case so that action can be taken against the involved officers.

    Now, Law Secretary, Abdul Majeed Bhat has initiated inquiry into the case.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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