Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High Court Justice Surjit Singh today quashed a decision of Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) pertaining to a lease of a partly built cafeteria in Kasumpti, Shimla. HIMUDA had in 2006 advertised for leasing of the cafeteria. Petitioner alleged that till the last date only two bids were received, but later bid of one of the respondent, who was the wife of then sitting MLA Harbhajan Singh Bhajji of Shimla constituency was accepted. As per petitioner he and another bidder remained present in the office of administrative officer of HIMUDA up to 5:30PM and averred that they were the only two parties who submitted their bid documents.
However, on the next date the third bidder was present at the time of opening of the bid and despite objections all the three sealed covers were opened and bid of Kirti Devi and Sunil Kumar being the highest was accepted. In reply, the then CEO of HIMUDA YR Sharma submitted that he had received the bid of Kirti Devi and Sunil Kumar at 04:25PM on the last date, but could not forward it to the administrative officer, as he was called from the office of chief minister. The judge however refused to rely on Sharma’s sworn affidavit on the grounds that his stance was not supported by any other official. Quashing the bidding process the court has directed HIMUDA to start the process afresh.