HC sets aside power project awarded to BHEL


The Madras High Court on Monday quashed proceedings issued by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) on September 27, 2014 for awarding contract for setting up two units of 660 MW Supercritical Thermal Power Project at Ennore Special Economic Zone in Chennai to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

Allowing a writ appeal filed by CSEPDI-TRISHE Consortium, an Indo-Chinese private venture, a Division Bench of Justices R. Sudhakar and K.B.K. Vasuki reversed an order passed by a single judge on April 7 upholding the grant of the contract to BHEL. The judgment, reserved in Chennai, was delivered here as Mr. Justice Sudhakar is at present heading the High Court Bench here.

The Division Bench directed Tangedco to reconsider the bids submitted by BHEL as well as the appellant consortium since there was a huge difference between rates quoted by them. But, the single judge had rejected this ground raised by the consortium, stating: “If the case on hand is examined by experts in the field of finance and banking, they may probably agree with the petitioner.”

“However, what lies within the realm of experts, is an area where courts, like angels, fear to tread.

A court, in matters of this nature, is concerned only with the legal soundness and not the financial soundness of the ultimate decision. If I have understood the defence of Tangedco correctly, it appears that they fear hidden costs in the proposal of the petitioner.”

“Today, the fear of hidden costs cannot be easily dispelled especially in the insurance and banking sectors.”

As for the consortium’s allegation that BHEL had the dubious distinction of delaying power projects was concerned, the judge said: “If the statistics furnished by BHEL are more or less correct, it has put up at least 50 per cent of power projects in the country.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:03:21 PM |

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