In a verdict on the Japanese-funded high-speed train project, the Supreme Court said on Monday that no company and even the Republic of India could not be allowed to deviate from the terms and conditions of the agreements, including including the Deed of Loan for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Railway. project.
The High Court overturned the verdict of the Delhi High Court in favor of a company called Montecarlo Limited whose technical bid was rejected by a committee of experts appointed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for several works on the high-speed train project.
A bench consisting of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna dealt with the question whether, in the facts and circumstances of the case and concerning such a foreign-funded project, the High Court was justified in “interfering with the process tender in the absence of specific allegations of bad faith and/or favouritism”.
“It should be noted that under the contractual obligation, it was not open to the appellant company and/or even the Republic of India to deviate from any of the terms and conditions of the loan agreement and/or the JICC/JICA decision Therefore, in the absence of any allegation of bad faith/arbitrariness and/or favoritism, we are of the opinion that the High Court committed a grave error in interfering with a conscious decision made by JICC/JICA, which was followed by the appellant,” the 82-page judgment reads.
Judge Shah, writing judgment for the bench, allowed the appeal of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), set for the high-speed rail project, and said the verdict of the High Court of 2021 was “clearly unsustainable and the same deserves to be undone”.
“It cannot be disputed that the high-speed rail project is a very important national project. The high-speed rail project is a fully foreign-funded project, which was considered when the Japanese and Indian governments reached an memorandum of understanding, under which it was agreed that the said project would be fully financed by a concessional official development assistance (ODA) loan of Rs.1 lakh crores by the Japan International Cooperation Agency,” it said. -he declares.
The High Court had canceled the communications of April 27 and 28, 2021 by which the private company was informed that its technical offer had been rejected on the grounds that it was not compliant.
NHSRCL is a Government Company incorporated under the Companies Act 2013 with equity participation from Government of India, Government of Gujarat and Government of Maharashtra, incorporated to finance, construct, maintain and manage the upcoming project high-speed train.
The NHSRCL had issued a Tender Notice on October 22, 2020, calling for bids for various works including “Construction of civil and construction works for the depot based on a lump sum design price- construction for the double line high speed railway involving site formation works, Abutment, Retaining walls, Track bed, Box culvert, Roads, Cable duct, OHE mast foundations, Piping , Drainage, Water Supply, Water Harvesting, Fire Fighting, Scraping, Perimeter Wall, General Inspection Train Shed, Maintenance Depot and other works associated with Sabarmati.” Technical bids submitted by various bidders, including Montecarlo Limited, were opened by the NHSRCL on 19 February 2021, and the bid from the original applicant along with four other bidders was declared unsuccessful.
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