Party Who Floats Tender Cannot Give A Go By To Conditions Mentioned Therein: Telangana High Court
In view of the clear admission of the better affidavit filed by second and fifth respondent that sixth respondent had participated in the tender bids by way of individual name as well as in the name of Partnership Firm in clear violation of Clause 10(B) of the Tender Notification, the Telangana High Court held that the award of the contract for supply of DIET menu services at Area Hospital, Bharachalam, Bhadrari Kothagudem, in favour of sixth respondent was clearly in violation of the terms and conditions of the tender notification and hence the same was liable to be set aside.
A Bench of Justice Surepalli Nanda observed, "This Court opines that the basic requirement of Article 14 is fairness in action by the State, and non- arbitrariness in essence and substance is the heart beat of fair play and the Respondents herein are bound to act validly and not whimsically for any ulterior purpose, the respondents cannot give a goby to their own tender conditions more so when clause (g) of (I) of the Tender clearly stipulates that the bid shall be evaluated as per the criteria specified in the Tender document."
The Court further observed that the plea of the sixth respondent that he had participated in the tender notification in the capacity of Kanaka Durga Dalitha CWLCPSSS and the activities undertaken by him were in the capacity of the firm but not as an individual, was not tenable, in view of the clear admission by second and fifth respondent and also as per the clear restriction under Clause 10(B) of the Tender Conditions which clearly prohibits the same tenderer from submitting more than one tender for the same hospital.
Advocate P. Pandu Ranga Reddy appeared for Petitioner and Advocate Jalli Narendar appeared for the Respondent.
Going by the background of the case, the petitioner is engaged in the business of providing DIET contract services to the inpatients of the hospital and works for and on behalf of Government agencies. When the fourth respondent invited bids for providing DIET menu services, the petitioner belonging to SC community expected for award of bid. But the bid was awarded to the sixth respondent, who was not eligible for the same. Since there was no response from third to fifth respondents on being objected, the petitioner approached the present court challenging the action of the fifth respondent as illegal, arbitrary, unconstitutional and in violation of the terms and conditions of the Tender.
After considering the submissions and evidences, the Bench found from a bare perusal of the letter affidavit as well as counter affidavit filed by second and fifth respondent, that as per G.O.Ms.No.32, dated March 12, 2022, 16% reservation was provided for the persons belonging to Schedule Caste community in Diet contracts in respect of the services to the hospital covered under second respondent.
Further, it was admitted in the better affidavit filed by the second and fifth respondents and as was evident even as per the information furnished under Right to Information Act by the concerned Authority vide RC No. /E/980/2022, dated Nov 11, 2022, that the sixth respondent had participated in the Tender Bids on behalf of two agencies i.e., both Arogya Services as well as Kanaka Durga Dalitha CWLCPSSS, Badhrachalam, Kothagudem District, added the Bench.
At the same time, the Court observed that it was evident even as per record that the SC caste Certificate was provided by one Pulla Kumara Swamy, S/o Komaraiah bearing Caste Certificate No. CNDO 14079779 and in respect of sixth respondent the Caste Certificate was again provided by the very same Pulla Kumara Swamy, although the Caste Certificate Number differs i.e., CNDO 21708978354.
Accordingly, the High Court directed the Respondents to consider and pass appropriate orders awarding the Contract in favour of the Petitioner for supply of DIET menu services at Area Hospital, Bhadrachalam, Bhadradri Kothagudem District, 200 Beds within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of the order, duly taking into consideration the fact that the Petitioner is the sole eligible tenderer and had been ignored by the Respondents intentionally only to favour the sixth Respondent malaifidely in clear violation of Clause 10(B) of the Tender Notification and also Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution and allowed the Petition.
Cause Title: Kancharla Karnakar v. State of Telangana and Ors.