Sugar News Details

HC dismisses plea against sugar tender


TNCSC invited e-tenders thrice
The Madras High Court has refused to interfere with the tender conditions by the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation for supply of several thousand tonnes of sugar to be distributed through the public distribution system. The court held, it cannot impose its view on the tender inviting authority as long as the conditions were not opposed to public policy.
Justice K. Ravichandrabaabu dismissed a writ petition filed by P. Amarnath of Chennai after Advocate General Vijay Narayan brought it to the notice of the judge that the court had already rejected a similar case filed last year on the ground that prescribing qualifications criteria for bidders was the exclusive right of the tender inviting authorities.
In his affidavit, Mr. Amarnath had pointed out that TNCSC had invited e-tenders on January 22 for supply of 40,000 tonnes of S-30 grade sugar at its godowns in 33 regions. Another tender was invited on February 8 for supplying 50,000 tonnes of sugar and one more notification was issued on March 12 for supply of 50,000 tonnes.
The pre-qualification criteria was that the tenderer should have remitted Earnest Money Deposit of ₹1 crore, must have an annual turnover turn over of not less than ₹40 crore during the last three financial years and should have supplied not less than 15,000 tonnes of sugar or food commodities in a single contract on at least three occasions in the last five years.
Terming these conditions as draconian, the petitioner alleged that they were had been imposed to eliminate competition and promote cartels in award of tenders. He also claimed that, but for the onerous conditions, many bidders would participate in the tender process and quote lesser prices much to the benefit of the public exchequer. However, denying the allegations, the A-G told the court that the petitioner had no locus standi to file the case since he had not even participated in the tender process. Even otherwise, the High Court had already upheld the validity of the condition requiring three years of prior experience in supplying such huge amount of commodities, he said.