The high court has quashed the decision of the erstwhile Bihar State Electricity Board [now Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd to debar HCL Infosystems Ltd from all business dealings with it for two years.
Allowing the HCL Infosystems Ltd’s petition, the bench of Justice Ramesh Kumar Datta said: “The action of blacklisting has to be taken only as a last resort.”
The court passed the order on February 25 on a petition filed by HCL Infosystems Ltd, seeking quashing of the power company’s decision to debar its from all its business dealings for its failure to deliver some products “on time”.
According to an agreement signed between the erstwhile board and the HCL, the firm was supposed to supply 47 desktop computers with printers, UPS and antivirus, worth Rs 19.11 lakh to the erstwhile power board.
The power company blacklisted HCL for its failure to deliver the goods within two months of getting the purchase order, issued on October 27, 2011.
HCL Infosystems Ltd’s counsel Amaresh Kumar Singh submitted that the power company not only blacklisted the HCL, a manufacturer of desktops, printers and accessories, but also communicated its action to all the other state electricity boards and power corporations.
The court observed it was a fundamental right of a person to do any business or trade under Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution and cannot be lightly interfered with.
A mere breach of contract may not have very serious consequence on the public organisation and consequently the public interest, it said.