Delhi High Court Directs PMO to Bring It to the Attention of PM If Bidder Files Representation

The Delhi High Court directed an Indian machine tool company to approach the office of the Prime Minister in connection to alleged discrimination against Indian bidders in an internationally competitive tender process conducted by the Central Government, for the supply of CNC machines and equipment.

A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli refused to stay the Tender process on account of inordinate delay made by the Petitioner in approaching the Court.

Although, it observed that this tender process was found to be irregular by the High Court in another case and thus, it would be appropriate to grant liberty to the Petitioner to approach the highest authorities.

In case such a representation is made, we request the PMO to ensure that the same receives the attention of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

We are inclined to grant this liberty to the petitioner in the light of the fact that the petitioner is an Indian manufacturer and we had earlier found merit in the claim of the petitioner in Macpower CNC Machines Limited v. Union of India (supra) that Indian bidders are being discriminated against, even though the tender conditions itself stipulated that Indian manufacturers would be given preference,” the order stated.

In the case of the Petitioner, Bharat Fritz Werner Limited It was contended that the Petitioner is also a victim of the same illegal process.

The Court observed that there was merit in this contention, as already discussed in Macpower CNC Machines (supra), and thus, granted liberty to the Petitioner to institute appropriate civil proceedings.

It also granted liberty to the Petitioner to approach the PMO, for appropriate action. The order stated, “Keeping in view the fact that the Government of India is laying emphasis on “Make in India’” (AtmaNirbharta), the grievances of the petitioner appear to be correct and in our view require serious consideration at the highest level.”

However, the Bench refused to interfere in the tender process or grant any relief to the Petitioner on account of the doctrine of laches.

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