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Can't sit on Tender Scrutiny Committee at every stage: Karnataka HC

The court observed this while dismissing the petition filed by SP Enterprises, Bengaluru, whose technical bid to supply chemicals and perfumery to Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL) was rejected.
Last Updated 30 March 2024, 01:23 IST

Bengaluru: The high court has said that it cannot sit in the seat of the Tender Scrutiny Committee and go on interfering at every stage of tendering. 

The court observed this while dismissing the petition filed by SP Enterprises, Bengaluru, whose technical bid to supply chemicals and perfumery to Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL) was rejected. 

The firm participated in the tender for 2023-24 and challenged the rejection of the technical bid on February 29, 2024. It claimed that even though on account of the increase in turnover, it became a medium enterprise in 2021-22, the exemption from payment of earnest money deposit (EMD) available to micro and small enterprises continues for three years. On the other hand, the KSDL argued that the petitioner had submitted EMD long after the submission of the financial bid and hence the said argument is not available to it. 

Justice Nagaprasanna noted that the firm had not paid the EMD initially, though it indicated that it is a medium industry. The court also said that the Supreme Court had said that any judicial relief at the instance of a party which does not fulfil the requisite criteria seems to be misplaced. 

“The petitioner has a statutory remedy of filing an appeal before the Appellate Authority under Section 16 of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements Act, 1999, once the work order is issued to the successful tenderer, notwithstanding its rejection of the technical bid. If any indulgence is shown in the teeth of the aforesaid facts, the same would run foul to the judgement of the Supreme court in Tata Motors Limited vs Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (Best) and others case,” the court said, leaving open the remedy available to the petitioner company.

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(Published 30 March 2024, 01:23 IST)

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