‘BSR Infratech allowed unfair advantages in tendering process’

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday found that the Public Works Department (PWD) had acted in favour of a particular contractor by allowing “unfair advantages” to the contractor in the process of bids invited for renovating the first and second floors of the Assembly Hall at the Vidhana Soudha here.

Justice A.S. Bopanna found that the manner in which the PWD has been “adjusting to the suitability” of BSR Infratech India Pvt. Ltd. would show that “there has been bias in its favour and that it has been given some unfair advantages.”

The court passed the order while partially allowing a petition filed by the rival bidder, Revanna Nagaraj of Sanjay Marketing and Publicity Services, questioning rejection of its technical bid.

The court found that while the two bidders had almost similar technical qualification, the PWD had, in the process of re-tendering, on the direction of an appellate authority, made changes in the pre-qualification requirement and other experiences so that it made only BSR Infratech suitable for undertaking the contract work.

Pointing out that the two bidders had almost similar technical qualification, the court set aside the rejection of the technical bid submitted by Sanjay Services and directed the PWD to treat the bidders as technically qualified and open the financial bids submitted by them to decide who succeeds in the bid.

As the proposed renovation work is not purely technical in nature, the court said that it is the financial impact on the Exchequer that matters in public interest in such cases as the proposed renovation work can be carried out with fewer expenses without compromising on the quality of work as it involves spending of tax payers money.