The Supreme Court on Monday asked DMRC to maintain status quo with regard to construction work for building eight stations and laying metro track on its Ghaziabad line after Gammon India claimed it was unfairly barred from the Rs 665 crore-project, which is being executed by M/s GYT-TPL, a joint venture of Tata Projects and Guangdong Yuantian Engineering Co of China.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur rejected GYT-TPL’s senior counsel Kapil Sibal’s plea that the JV had already started work. While asking the parties to maintain status quo till the Delhi High Court resolved the dispute, it directed the parties against taking any adjournments when HC will begin hearing the case from February 25. However, it clarified that it has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case.
Stating that it was barred from participating in the recent metro tender, Gammon sought stay on the HC order which it said had the effect of allowing the JV “to continue work on a contract illegally awarded to it”. And “continuing with work would not only be expensive and inconvenient to remove in the event of the Petitioner (Gammon) succeeding, the same would also permit the JV to raise contentions based on equity… the same can be obviated by ordering a stay on the award or status quo with respect to the instant contract,” the infrastructure and construction company stated.
Gammon, which claims to have constructed the maximum length of the Delhi Metro, in its petition filed through counsel Prashant Kumar stated that 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.
It said its financial bid was significantly lower than the successful bidder — M/s GYT-TPL Joint Venture — whose bid is at Rs 665.87crore.
Gammon had challenged the DMRC’s decision to award the contract to GYT-TPL, saying the DMRC “has no explanation for handing a contract worth to a party inexperienced in Metro Rail projects in India.” It alleged that DMRC has “incorrectly and unlawfully disqualified” it from participating in the recent metro tender of building eight stations in the capital at a cost of Rs 665 crore.