The Department of Stamps and Registration can now go ahead with its ‘New KAVERI’ project with the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissing a petition questioning selection of software firm HCL Infosystems Ltd. for execution of the project.
Justice A.S. Bopanna upheld the acceptance of the bid submitted by HCL Infosystems while dismissing the petition filed by Tera Software Ltd., one of the bidders that had questioned the selection.
While Tera Software had quoted Rs. 165.2 crore, HCL Infosystems quoted the lowest, Rs. 147.91 crore, for executing the project.
New KAVERI (Karnataka Valuation and E-registration) project would have features such as allowing property owners to access their property details online and measures to prevent some frauds.
The project also includes tasks such as procuring, installing and maintaining the hardware, and developing software called ‘New Kaveri’.
The bids were invited in December 2012 by the Inspector-General of Registration and Commissioner of Stamps.
Tera Software had alleged that HCL Infosystems was selected though the company failed to disclose that it was “blacklisted” by the Rajasthan Commercial Tax Department and did not quote the amount for toners of printers and consumables.
HCL Infosystems, however, pointed out to the Court that the Rajasthan Commercial Tax authorities had taken the company off the blacklist on the intervention of the Rajasthan High Court and that the order of blacklisting was not in operation when the company submitted the bids.
Pointing out that courts cannot interfere in tender process when there were no elements of arbitrariness or loss to exchequer in the selection process, Mr. Justice Bopanna upheld the process followed for selection while observing that there was a huge difference in the bid amount.