The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday summoned Director General (DG) Passports and Immigration to appear before the court on Tuesday (today) in a petition moved against awarding a contract to a US firm for provision of lamination paper to the department of immigration and passports for making machine-readable passports.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddqui issued these directions in a civil miscellaneous application moved by Advocate Salman Akram Raja, counsel for petitioner. Earlier, the court had issued stay orders against awarding the contract to a US firm but later it vacated the same.

In this connection, the petitioner had filed this civil miscellaneous application to seek stay orders against awarding the contract. In the main petition, the petitioner, management of Reliance Company, a French firm, had challenged awarding the contract to the US company — Security Laminates Opsec. In the petition, the counsel contended that the contract was awarded in violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.

Reliance Company Chief Executive Officer Sameer Baig, through his counsel, maintained in the petition that his client got the highest points for quality when its lamination paper was sent to a laboratory after the immigration department and the interior ministry sought bids for paper for passports through an advertisement.

But later, the contract was awarded to the US company without informing his client.

He alleged that immigration and passports DG and project director for machine-readable passports manipulated the bidding process to favour the US company in clear violation of PPRA rules. He said that his client had submitted technical and financial proposals before the project director after fulfilling all the requirements.

The petitioner stated that currently there was an acute shortage of lamination paper in the immigration department and alleged that the existing company was responsible for all the mess and requested the court to declare the contract illegal.