SC issues notices to Centre, NHAI over tender dispute
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
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
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