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[SLP against interim order] Supreme Court holds stay without recording any reason affecting revenue of the State cannot be permitted

The SC on June 24, 2020 {RAJASTHAN STATE WAREHOUSING CORPORATION vs STAR AGRIWAREHOUSING AND COLLATERAL MANAGEMENT LIMITED & ORS. } held that though the Court does not generally interfere in an interim order passed in an appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution but when after the dismissal of the writ petition, the Division Bench has passed an order of stay without recording any reason affecting revenue of the State, the Court cannot not permit the public interest to suffer. 

It was further held by the Bench, comprising of Justice HEMANT GUPTA and Justice ANIRUDDHA BOSEthat the fact remains that once the bidding process is complete, the appellant is entitled to take work from the successful bidders rather than taking work from the short-term tenderers who were granted contract in exigency of the situation. It was also held that in the matters of contract, the grant of interim order to restrain the successful bidders from executing the contract is not in public interest, more so, when the tender is for storage of food articles in the warehouses of the State Government undertaking. 

The present appeals before the SC were directed against the interim order passed by the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan on 29th May, 2020 and 10th June, 2020 whereby in an intra-court appeal, the High Court passed an order of status quo with a further direction that other formalities may proceed but the contract shall not be signed.

The SC held that the grant of interim order which impinges upon the grant of contract by the appellant is not in public interest that too without recording any reasons when the Writ Petition was dismissed by the Learned Single Judge.

Consequently, the SC set aside the orders dated 29th May, 2020 and 10th June, 2020 granting status quo while allowing the present appeals.

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