Gov’t wins multi-million dollar judgment against Surendra for Specialty Hospital

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The site of the multi - million dollar Specialty Hospital
The site of the multi – million dollar Specialty Hospital

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall announced that judgment was granted in favour of the Government of Guyana in its case against Surendra Engineering with regards to the construction of the Specialty Hospital.

On September 14, 2012, the Ministry of Health entered into a contract with Surendra Engineering Corporation, which a limited liability company incorporated in India and registered in Guyana. Under the contract it was agreed that the company would provide services in relation to designing, building, equipping, testing, delivering, installing, completing and commissioning certain facilities for the Surgical Specialty hospital in Turkeyen, Georgetown. The consideration or cost of the contract was US$18,180,000.

The Attorney General stated that on December 27, 2012, Surendra Engineering was given an Advanced Payment of 20% of the contract price, which amounted to US$3,636,000, and on November 18, 2013, an additional payment of US$649,440. He explained that the company eventually failed to submit payment receipts to account for the advanced payment of US$4,285,440.

“Instead, the company submitted fabricated, unsigned and inflated invoices with no evidence of actual payments made to support the expenditure claimed. In addition, the Advance Payment Guarantee expired on March 11, 2014, and the company failed to renew same in accordance with the terms of the contract”.

After being informed of the expiration of the Advance Payment Guarantee, Minister Nandlall said, Surendra Engineering Corporation then attempted to submit an Advance payment Guarantee, Performance Security, and Insurance from a company in Trinidad and Tobago called ‘Worldwide Bankers Re Company Ltd.’

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall
Attorney General, Anil Nandlall

“However, pursuant to queries by the Government of Guyana, it was informed by the Central bank of Trinidad and Tobago that ‘Worldwide Bankers Re Company Ltd’ is not a registered insurance company under the Insurance Act of Trinidad and Tobago”.

Consequently, he said the Guyana Government terminated the contract on the grounds that Surendra Engineering Corporation Limited: failed to renew/provide the Advance Payment Guarantee; engaged in fraudulent practices; and failed to satisfactorily perform its obligations under the terms of the contract.

The minister noted that pursuant to the termination of the contract the Government of Guyana through his office on October 15, 2014, filed a Writ of Summons in the Commercial Division of the High Court naming Surendra Engineering Corporation Limited as the Defendant and claiming the following reliefs: Damages in excess of G$100,000,000; Special damages in the sum of US$4,285,440; Interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing to the date of judgment and at the rate of 4% until fully paid; Costs in the sum of US$10,714.50.

According to Minister Nandlall, after court officials were unable to locate the company’s locally registered address in Berbice to effect service of the Writ, notice of service was made in the Guyana Chronicle Newspapers on two consecutive occasions, December 13, 2014, and December 20, 2014. The matter was set to be heard on January 21, 2015, in the Commercial Court.

“However, when the matter was called no one appeared for or on behalf of the Defendant company. The matter was called again on January 23, 2015, and once again no one appeared for or on behalf of the company”.

Government was then awarded judgment in its favour. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

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