KARNATAKA

NICE describes latest action as harassment

Staff Reporter



‘Indirect violation of High Court and Supreme Court orders’



BANGALORE: Dubbing the State Government’s cancellation of the Tripartite Agreement harassment, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) Ltd. on Thursday charged that the action was an “indirect violation” of the Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court orders directing the two parties to implement the project in letter and in spirit according to the April 1997 Framework Agreement.

In a statement, NICE said it would take up this issue in the Supreme Court along with its contempt petition.

Assigning rights

It maintained that the Tripartite Agreement was signed only to assign the rights of implementation of the first phase of the project to Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprise (NECE) Ltd. “Apparently they (the State Government) are under the impression that by cancelling this agreement, they will take away the right of NICE for getting land by way sale deeds to implement the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project,” said the statement.

The agreement, according to NICE, was signed only to facilitate speedier implementation of the project and for NICE to achieve financial closure and other administrative necessities, which would then let NICE focus on implementing the 2nd and 3rd phases of the project.

‘Contradictory’

On the Government’s decision to transfer land to the project company citing the High Court Order in the Somashekar Reddy case, NICE said it was contradictory to the State’s other decision to invite global tenders for the BMIC project under the Swiss Challenge Method.

Terming it a “ridiculous proposition”, NICE explained that the Swiss Challenge Method was only adopted for new and innovative projects where any company could come forward to execute the project in the interests of the public and the State.

“This method can be applied only in the initial stage of awarding the contract for a particular project. In this method, once a company has come up with its innovative ideas and technology and submitted its bid to implement the project, then the Government can allow any other company to counter-bid for the project at a lower cost or better condition thorough an open bid system,” the statement said.

Here, the original company that came up with the innovative project is allowed to match or better the offer made by the other company. The company with the lowest or better proposal is allowed to finally execute the project. “Hence, this decision by the State Government is not in compliance with the law and goes against the spirit of business ethics, and it is clearly aimed at favouring a non-registered and fraudulent consortium called Global Infrastructure Consortium,” NICE charged in its statement.

Discretion

The courts, the statement recalled, had ordered both the parties to expedite the project. Besides, the Framework Agreement had clauses that said the Government would not restrict the use of the land in any way, and the company should have full freedom and discretion to industrially and commercially develop and use the land, as generally contemplated by the agreement.

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