CHENNAI:Madras High Court passed an interim injunction Wednesday restraining Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) from proceeding further with the tender notification issued for the Udangudi super critical thermal power project in Thoothukudi district till the disposal of the petition by the Chinese CSEPDI-Trishe Consortium.
The matter pertains to the tender process floated for the power project, started in 2013. According to the petitioner, they were the lowest bidder, outbidding BHEL by nearly Rs 137 crore. Instead of awarding the tender to the consortium, TANGEDCO and other authorities decided to scrap the entire tender process by an order dated March 26, 2015 on the grounds that there were technical deficiencies in the bids submitted by the consortium and BHEL, the petitioner alleged. Aggrieved, the consortium approached the High Court.
Subsequently, TANGEDCO floated a second tender for the project, in which BHEL alone participated. Following this, the consortium moved an interim petition seeking to stop TANGEDCO and other authorities from going ahead with the process.
Justice M Sathyanarayanan had on June 16 reserved his orders on the interim plea sought by CSEPDI-Trishe Consortium, making it clear that the authorities should not open the tenders till orders were passed.
When the petition came for orders on Wednesday, Advocate General argued that the petitioner, having accepted the tender terms and conditions giving complete discretion to authorities to take a decision on the tender bids received, could not turn around and challenge the same.
Justice Sathyanarayanan, brushing aside the AG’s contention, said, “The State in exercise of its various functions, is governed by the mandate of Article 14 of the Constitution, which excludes arbitrariness and requires to act fairly and reasonably.”
The judge further said, “This court is of the view that new tender floated has adopted EPC (Engineering, procurement and construction) basis and coupled with the fact that TANGEDCO in all probability is going to adopt ‘Make in India’ policy, may favour BHEL.”