Court restrains KSRTC from processing tender for 3,000 buses

Krishnaprasad Bengaluru | Updated on January 12, 2018


Tata Motors challenges decision to buy Ashok Leyland vehicles

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday passed an interim order stating that the further process of a tender, invited by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) for procuring around 3,000 buses with BS-IV engines, would be subject to final outcome of a petition challenging the tender process.

Justice AS Bopanna passed the interim order on the petition filed Tata Motors Ltd.

Questioning KSRTC’s decision of qualifying another company, Ashok Leyland Ltd, for supply of the buses, the Tata Motors has claimed that the KSRTC’s action was “arbitrary” as it had disqualified the petitioner for a “minor” technical flaw but accepted Leyland’s bid despite many “misrepresentation and technical lapses” in their bid documents.

Tata Motors was not qualified for the main reason of not uploading a certificate from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) though the company submitted a copy of the required certificate.

However, it has been alleged in the Tatas’ petition that Leyland’s bid had many “misrepresentation and technical lapses”, like faulty computation of HP of the engines, incomplete specification of fully built midi buses, incomplete uploading of documents etc., which are contrary to the terms of conditions of the tender.

Also, it has been alleged in the petition that the “misrepresentation and technical lapses” in Leyland’s bid amounted to “fraudulent practices” as defined in the tender’s terms and conditions for rejection of a tender.

Pointing out that Leyland has quoted one per cent Tax Collection at Source (TCS) though law does not mandate TCS for State transport undertakings, Tata Motors has claimed that if the KSRTC entertains TCS that its [Tata’s] quotation would have been cheaper than that of Leylands’ and thus the petitioner-company would have become the lowest bidder.

It has also been pointed out in the petition that the KSRTC, despite Tata’s communication on lapses in Leyland’s bid and tender process, has ignored the objection raised. Tata Motors has sought a direction from the court to quash the present tender process and direct the KSRTC to issue a re-tender.

Published on May 30, 2017

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