SC issues notices to Centre, NHAI over tender dispute
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Last Updated: Friday, August 20, 2010, 00:28
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notices to the government and National Highways Authority of India over a dispute on the tendering process and award of contract for a Rs 567 crore project for four-laning of the Nagpur-Edlabad section of NH 6.

A bench comprising Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice A K Patnaik also stayed the construction of a high-level bridge on the Pingalai river under the project.

The bench directed the government and NHAI to file their reply to a petition filed by a consortium of VHCPL-ADCC Pingalai Infrastructure, which had challenged the award of the contract to another firm, IRB-MRM.

The consortium contended that the NHAI, which had awarded a contract for a 2.2-km stretch of the Nagpur-Edlabad section to it, had later floated the tender for four-laning of the highway without giving it a chance to participate.

Furthermore, it claimed the section for which it was awarded a contract was exhumed from the tender.

Senior advocate Rohinton Nariman, appearing for the VHCPL-ADCC Pingalai Infrastructure consortium, submitted that the consortium was the first beneficiary, as it was already constructing the bridge over the section and therefore, had concessionary rights over the section.

However, Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati, appearing for the Centre, said the consortium was aware of the bidding process. All formalities were properly completed and tenders were invited only after the Cabinet Committee had approved the project.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the IRB-MRM consortium, which was awarded the contract for four-laning of the highway section, opposed the petition and alleged that the VHCPL-ADCC Pingalai Infrastructure consortium wanted to create a monopoly on the section.

The court has ordered a hearing on the matter after three weeks.


First Published: Friday, August 20, 2010, 00:28

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