In a setback to Gammon India, the Supreme Court on Thursday gave its nod to a joint venture of Tata Projects and Guangdong Yuantian Engineering Company of China to execute a Rs 665-crore contract for building eight metro stations and laying metro track on its Ghaziabad line.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur endorsed the Delhi High Court’s order that upheld the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation’s decision to reject Gammon’s technical bid on the grounds of unsatisfactory work on other projects.
However, it asked DMRC to consider Gammon India’s financial bid so that its rival civil engineering firm, GYT-TPL, can match the lower amount offered by the construction major, the court said. Gammon had told the court that its financial bid was Rs 26 crore lower than the successful bidder’s —GYT-TPL JV.
Modifying the high court order invoking public interest, the apex court observed that an earlier rejection of Gammon India’s bid by DMRC does not amount to its blacklisting.
The HC, while dismissing Gammon’s petition, had stated that DMRC’s technical evaluation committee had concluded that its bid was not suitable and acceptable for award of the contract and the view appeared to be bona fide and cannot be faulted.
ASG Neeraj K Kaul, appearing for DMRC, contended that Gammon had suppressed important information in the bid documents, leaving certain columns blank. It had not disclosed deficiency in the contracts in Chennai and even in Delhi, thus it was found unsuitable
Senior counsel P Chidambaram, appearing for the JV, argued that the consortium has already made investments to the tune of Rs 57.36 crore in the project.
Counsel Pradeep Bakshi, appearing for Gammon, argued that it has completed 13 projects for DMRC and has constructed the maximum length of Delhi Metro.
He said the DMRC had acted in flagrant violation of all known standards of non-arbitrariness and fairness in matters concerning distribution of state largess and there was no basis to exclude it’s financial bid at the time of opening of the same.
Gammon has earlier challenged the HC’s order that refused to stay the DMRC’s decision barring it for six months from taking part in any of the tenders. The then DMRC chief E Sreedharan had in 2010 blacklisted Gammon for two years after five labourers had died during construction of the Noida metro line at a site on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur section near Zamrudpur in south Delhi on July 12, 2009. The metro company had barred the construction firm from being associated with the DMRC for any kind of civil construction work for two years.