15 July 2019


Judgments

High Court of Delhi

B.L.S. International Services Ltd. v. Ministry Of External Affairs, Government Of India & ANR.

MANU/DE/0013/2017

03.01.2017

Contract

In commercial matters, judicial interference is warranted only when administrative action of Government is illegal or irrational

BLS international services limited, a public limited company, involving itself in providing visa, passport, consular and attestation related services to various diplomatic missions, has challenged order passed by Respondents whereby Petitioner Company has been disqualified at technical stage for not having obtained 70% marks at that stage which was fixed as threshold eligibility criterion for consideration of financial bid in tender for outsourcing of visa services at Madrid, Barcelona and Las Palmas in Spain. Petitioner grieves that under all three heads, marks were wrongly awarded as Petitioner could not have been penalised for any ground for which he was disqualified in the earlier round of bidding.

Criteria, which was adopted by Respondents for marking under various heads was not unknown to Petitioner and it was not now open for him to challenge it when it had participated in the bid process. Order dated 13th October, 2015 does not put any embargo on Respondents in assessing and marking Petitioner for its past conduct.

Supreme Court has cautioned that in commercial matters, judicial interference is warranted only when an administrative action of the Government is illegal, irrational or the process through which such action is taken is beyond procedural propriety. Such judicial restraint is actuated by elements of moderation and measure which, is much more preferable to limitlessness or interminableness in the judicial sphere.

In Tata Cellular vs. Union of India: (1994) 6 SCC 651; Raunaq International ltd. vs. I.V.R. Construction Ltd.: (1999) 1 SCC 492; and Jagdish Mandal vs. State of Orissa: (2007) 14 SCC 517 Supreme Court observed that, a court of law ought to limit itself in only assessing infirmities in “decisions making process” on touchstone of reasonableness and rationality and should ensure that it is not arbitrary or violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India. Recently, in Central Coalfields ltd. vs. SLL-SML (Joint Venture Consortium): 2016 (8) SCALE 1999, Supreme Court, relying on a catena of decisions, held that decision making process of employer or owner of project in accepting or rejecting bid of a tenderer should not be interfered with in absence of any malafides or such arbitrariness which would be apparent on face of it. No such extreme case has been made out by Petitioner warranting any interference.

Relevant

Tata Cellular vs. Union of India: (1994) 6 SCC 651; Raunaq International ltd. vs. I.V.R. Construction Ltd.: (1999) 1 SCC 492; and Jagdish Mandal vs. State of Orissa: (2007) 14 SCC 517, in Central Coalfields ltd. vs. SLL-SML (Joint Venture Consortium): 2016 (8) SCALE 1999

Tags : Tender Eligibility Interference Scope

Share :