CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday set aside the tender notification dated June 22, 2017 for supply of polyester yarn for production of polycot saris and dhotis under cost-free distribution of saris and dhotis scheme for Pongal, 2018.
Justice M. Duraiswamy disposed of a batch of petitions, including one from Sri Venkatram Spinners of Cholapuram, as the issues were common. The tender notification in question was issued by the Joint Director (Uniforms) to call for fresh tender in accordance with the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders Act, 1998.
“In the case on hand, the value of the procurement of dyed cotton yarn, as well as the polyester yarn, exceeds `50 crore and consequently, the tender inviting authority should have published the notice inviting tenders in Indian Trade Journal,” Justice Duraiswamy said.
As per Rule 11 of TN Transparency in Tenders Rules, 2000, the tender inviting authority should publish notice in the Indian Trade Journal whenever value of procurement exceeds `50 crore.
While Justice Duraiswamy recognised that the tender notification was published in newspapers, he said this was not adequate. “The provisions of Section 9(3) and Rule 11(1) are mandatory and the said provisions cannot be given a go-by by the authorities,” he said. “Since the tender notification has not been published as per the provisions of the Act, on this ground alone, the notification is liable to be quashed.”
Further, it was established that the minimum period for tenders more than `2 crore in value should be 30 days. This notice, however, did not adhere to that rule as it was published in the State Tender Bulletin on June 22 and the last date for submission of tender was July 7.
“When the rules say that there must be 30 days time limit, it must be adhered to by the authorities, unless the superior authority gives sufficient reason for reducing the time,” said Justice Duraiswamy. “There must be acceptable reasons given by the superior authority. The Director has not given any reason for reducing the time-limit, except stating that in the previous years also, the time limit was reduced.”