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State order on smart card firm set aside

Calcutta High Court on Tuesday set aside the government's decision to terminate its contract with a company that manufactures vehicle smart cards.

The court also directed the government to invite representatives of the company and hear them out. "The principal secretary of the transport department will hear out the company as a part of natural justice," Justice Dipankar Dutta said in his order.

The government had terminated its contract with Smart Chip Pvt Ltd as the company had "suppressed" that it had been blacklisted in Gujarat. A smart card contains information about a vehicle and its owner.

The court asked transport department principal secretary Alapan Bandyopadhayay to send a notice to the firm and fix a date of hearing before deciding the contract's fate.

The company had moved court claiming it had not suppressed any information as Gujarat had later withdrawn the "blacklisting" clause.

Anindya Sundar Das, a high court advocate, said the government had acted callously by "arbitrarily cancelling the contract".

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