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"Even when the State or a public body enters into a commercial transaction, considerations which would prevail in its decision to award the contract to a given party would be the same. However, because the State or a public body or an agency of the State enters into such contract, there could be, in a given case, an element of public law or public interest involved even in such a commercial transaction... When a petition is filed a public interest petition challenging the award of a contract by the State or any public body to a particular tenderer, the court must satisfy itself  that the party which as brought the litigation is litigating bonafide for public good.  The public interest litigation should  not be merely a cloak for attaining private ends of a third party or of the party bringing the petition... By court intervention, the proposed project may be considerably delayed thus escalating the cost far more than any saving which the Court would ultimately effect in public money by deciding the dispute in favour or one tenderer or the other tenderer."

- The Supreme Court in Raunaq International Ltd. v.  I. V. R. Construction Limited, (1999) 1 SCC 492 (at p. 500, 501).

Comment

Though the Court has with regard to state projects, always been conscious of public interest, i.e. the involvement of public money in a commercial transaction, the public purpose when services  are commissioned, the public anxiety regarding the quality of work undertaken and timely fulfillment of the contract, it has also significantly expressed its consciousness of the damage that can be done when big projects with substantial financial outlay are stayed or stopped on the pretext of re-examining the contract in public interest. The court has accordingly by its judgments balanced simultaneous interests of all parties concerned when the state entering into a commercial transaction, awards contracts to a given party.

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