High Court allowed the Government to execute the contract of carriage of troops and equipment with qualified transport agency and observed that there is no allegation of any mala fides or bias against the official authorities with regard to bidding process and allotment of contract.
The allotment of contract was given to M/S Galaxy Transport Agencies after consideration of technical bid and evaluation of financial bid. However, the said allotment of contract has been challenged before the court by the non-qualifying bidder-M/S New JK Roadways on the ground that the qualifying bidder was not qualified for the contract as the firm did not possess the requisite service license as per the terms and conditions laid down in the tender notice.
Justice Sindhu Sharma while dismissing the petition of aggrieved firm recorded that since the contract is for the year 2020-21 which has already commenced from April 1, 2020 and public interest would be severely jeopardized if the authorities are not allowed to execute the contract because the bid of qualifying firm was the lowest.
Government counsel appearing for Police Department submitted before the Court that the Tender Opening Committee found that since the petitioner-firm did not safisfy the most essential condition as laid down in the tender notice, therefore, his bid was rightly rejected and the contract was allotted to lowest eligible bidder (M/S Galaxy Transport Agencies).
“Therefore, the petitioner-firm having failed to qualify the technical bid cannot now question the allotment of the contract of hiring vehicles to qualifying firm”, Government counsel pleaded before the Court.
Court after hearing at length all the parties in the matter said the allegation of aggrieved-firm with regard to allotment of contract to qualifying-firm on the ground as it did not have valid service license, as there is an inherent limitation in exercise of power of judicial review to award of contract by the State and its instrumentality.
“It is, therefore, in public interest not to interfere in the allotment of contract in favour of respondent-5 (M/S Galaxy Transport Agencies), who satisfied the criteria as laid down in technical bid as he had furnished list of HMV & LMV vehicles which was the most essential condition of the tender. Thus the petitioner having been found ineligible cannot now question allotment of contract to respondent-5 because the petitioner is not similarly situate”, reads the judgment.