Chandigarh, June 18
A local court has ordered to keep in abeyance the recovery of Rs 5. 89 crore, along with interest, from a mining contractor of Ropar district till July 4, the next date of hearing.
The contractor, Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary, had approached the court through counsel Hitender Kansal after the Punjab Government directed him to deposit the remaining amount of the licence fee in two instalments by June 20 through a letter dated June 10 this year.
Chaudhary filed the petition under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, in which he prayed for an interim injunction on the operation and effect of the order.
Kansal submitted that on the receipt of the letter, the petitioner issued a request letter to the department concerned for the appointment of an arbitrator for the dispute arising in second and third year of the contract concerning a mining block related to Ropar district. The counsel told the court that the respondents were adamant on recovering Rs 5.89 crore by June 20 in two instalments.
He said in case interim directions were not issued regarding stay of the operation of letter, the petitioner would suffer a lot as the respondents would write to the District Collector for the recovery of the amount.
After hearing of the arguments, the court ordered to keep in abeyance the recovery of Rs 2.04 crore due on June 15 this year and Rs 3.85 crore due on June 20, along with interest, till the next date of hearing. The court adjourned the hearing for filing reply and consideration.
In the letter for the appointment of an arbitrator written to the department, the contractor had stated that the quantity auctioned by the department in the auction notice dated May 30, 2019, had not been made available to him till date. Even after passing of two years, no corrective measures were taken by the department to fulfil the shortfall of the quantity. In spite of that, the department was claiming the full contract amount as per the quantity auctioned by the government, the contractor stated.
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