ISLAMABAD     -    The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday expressed its annoyance over non-submission of reply by the Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) in a petition filed against a contract awarded for waste collection in the federal capital. 

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of three private companies including Nasir Jan and Co., National Cleaning Services and Maqsood and Co. which have challenged the award of the contract to Anas Brothers Enterprises. 

During the hearing, the counsel for Mayor Islamabad sought time to submit reply in this regard. 

Expressing his annoyance, Justice Aurangzeb said that the court had directed to submit reply in this matter on the last hearing after issuing the notices. He directed the counsel to submit the reply before the next hearing and deferred the proceedings for one week. 

According to the contract, the MCI has hired the services of Anas Brothers Enterprises to clean, sweep and collect solid waste and garbage in various sectors in the city for Rs55 million per month. 

The petitioner firms have approached the court to declare the process of procuring the company’s services for G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, G-11, I-8, I-10, the Expressway and other areas as illegal. The petitioner companies were collecting waste in Islamabad for several years. 

According to the petition, the MCI floated a tender on June 21 inviting expressions of interest from local and international firms and consortiums for the privatisation and procurement of cleaning services in three packages in the aforementioned sectors. 

The petition asserted that the entire process of inviting bids to procure the services for cleaning, sweeping, collection and transportation of solid waste and garage vide three packages violates articles 4, 18, 19-A and 25 of the Constitution. 

The petitioners stated that the MCI issued a letter of intent (LOI) to Anas Brothers Enterprises on September 2. They added that the LOI was given a verbal assurance by the MCI with reference to the award of the contract and was accordingly handed over the field to perform the work. 

They adopted that the respondent company does not have any experience in performing such a contract, i.e. waste management services, and does not possess any vehicles and machinery to perform these functions.  The petitioners alleged that the company has submitted forged and fake documents on vehicles and machinery, which it verified from the Excise and Taxation Department. They said that so far, the MCI has not started the documentary and physical verification of the vehicles and machinery identified by the company in its documents.

They continued that the financial capability and standing of the company is also questionable and does not fulfil the criteria enforced by the MCI on others. 

Subsequently, the petition expressed apprehensions that the MCI would allow the use of government vehicles and machinery, since the company does not own its own equipment requirement for waste management. 

It said that the advertisement and process of procuring the services was illegal, unconstitutional and in violation of procurement rules. It claimed that it was an infringement of constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and a glaring example of discrimination, favouritism and nepotism. 

The petition further said that by not providing sufficient time for procuring documents and sharing evaluation reports, the MCI awarded the contract to Anas Brothers Enterprises through a selective bidding process and favouritism rather than open competitive bidding process. 

It continued that the entire procurement process reeks of mala fide and prima facie is not in the interest of the public at large, and is motivated and aimed at facilitating MCI’s favoured individuals. 

Therefore, the petition requested the court to scrap the award of garbage collection to this company.