Bhubaneswar: In a boost to the state govt and Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), the honourable Supreme Court has dismissed the special leave petitions filed by BJP leader and former minister Manmohan Samal and others challenging the Orissa High Court Order which rejected the interim relief prayed in the PIL challenging the tendering process of OPGC expansion projects.
A division bench of the apex court consisting of Justice D K Jain and Justice Anil R Dave while dismissing the SLPs declined to interfere with the impunged order of the Orissa High Court dated 15th November 2011. The Special Leave Petitions was preferred against an order whereby the High Court had declined to grant interim relief.
It may be mentioned here that the Orissa High Court had rejected the application filed by one Kailash Chandra Gupta of Dhamnagar of Bhadrak district challenging the balance of Plant (BoP) tender process floated by Orissa Power generation Corporation (OPGC) for its proposed new units at Ib Thermal Power Station. In its order the concerned HC bench consisting of the Chief Justice, stated that the petitioner had not made out a prima facie case that public interest would be affected in not following the guidelines of Central Electricity Authority. In its order the division bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mahapatra had mentioned that “No material facts are stated or documents are produced to substantiate the plea that there would be loss of 300 crores to the opposite party in not following the guidelines. Apart from the said reasoning, as provided in clause (m) of section 73, the advice to the State Government, licensees or the generating companies by the authority would only be advisory and not mandatory. The same need not be followed.” The High Court had taken critical view of the fact that the petitioner had approached the court after two and half months of issuance of the tender notification. The order had also stressed on the fact that the writ petition was filed only on the basis of surmises and paper publications and dis not disclose or substantiate that by not following the CEA guidelines and not allowing the consortium members to participate in the tender process will cause loss to the state or OPGC. Stating that the petitioner is not entitled to grant of interim order, the division bench was of the view that there is no prima facie case or balance of convenience in favour of the petitioner.
It may be noted here that OPGC, a 51:49 JV between Govt. of Orissa and AES Corp, USA had issued notice inviting tender for BoP of the proposed new units for setting up of Unit 3rd and 4th of 660 MW each, for which four of the top and nationally reputed companies have submitted bids in November 2011. OPGC is currently operating two units of 210 MW each at Ib valley in Odisha.