New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a petition by two manufacturers and authorised dealers of digital audio conferencing systems challenging the rejection of their bids for installing equipment in the Parliament House.
The two petitioner companies, Brahler ICS India Private limited, manufacturer of Brahler ICS audio conferencing system, and M/s Elgin Electronics, who is the authorized dealer of Danish Interpretation System (DIS), had contended that the bids invited by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) were accompanied with conditions under which only a company like Bosch could have complied with the contract specifications.
The apex court bench of Justice Deepak Verma and Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya while dismissing the petitions observed that there was nothing unreasonable in the two conditions in the contract document that had been impugned by the petitioner companies.
Under the contract conditions, the bids were invited from the manufacturers of Bosch/Danish Interpretation System or the Brahler ICS digital sound system or their authorized dealers having permanent offices and service centres in India from April 1, 2007. The bidders were asked to furnish a "suitable and satisfactory" assurance of providing service back up to support and maintain the system. The bidders also had to have an annual financial turnover of a minimum Rs.3.20 crore in the last three consecutive years.
The two petitioner companies had impugned the Aug 16, 2010 order of the high court by which it had dismissed the petition by Brahler ICS India Private limited, manufacturer of Brahler ICS audio conferencing system, and M/s Elgin Electronics and had imposed cost of Rs.1,92,500 that was payable to the government and CPWD and its different wings and Rs.1,65,000 on Bosch Motor Industries Corporation limited towards their cost of litigation.
This cost was not touched by the apex court while dismissing the petition by the two companies.
Appearing for the petitioner companies, senior counsel Jaideep Gupta told the court that the impugned tender conditions were "per se arbitrary, discriminatory and unreasonable and were couched in a way that all but the Bosch machines get eliminated from the bidding process in the pre-qualification stage itself".
Gupta said the said clause was "tailor made" only to favour the business interest of Bosch machines in the bidding process.
"If that clause was bad why did you participateIJ You participated and when your tender was rejected, you challenged it," the court asked the senior counsel as he assailed the tender conditions. The senior counsel told the court that Brahler ICS India Private limited had installed the Digital Audio-Conferencing System in the lok Sabha some 18 years back and the same has been functioning satisfactorily even now.
Summing up the contention of the senior counsel, the court said: "Your contention is that the impugned clause was added to benefit one party and exclude the others."
It queried Gupta that if his client was not qualified then how could it challenge the tender conditionalities. "If you are not qualified how can you challenge itIJ"