A division bench comprising Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice RMT Teekaa Raman which dismissed a PIL seeking to quash the supply of 20W LED street lights said, “We do not see any arbitrariness in the imposition of conditions in Clauses 3(4) and 3(5) of the general conditions or any mala fide intention on the part of the Government to favour a particular person nor do we see any element of bias or unreasonableness in the tender notification, except that the imposition of such a condition is only to ensure that the scheme is implemented without any difficulty.”
“Further, though this writ petition has been filed as public interest litigation, since the petitioner has not produced any material to show his bona fide, the same is liable to be dismissed,” the bench said. As per clause 3(4) of the notification, the samples submitted along with test reports from a lab approved by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), with the bid, will be tested at the field by the Electrical Department, Corporation of Chennai. As per Clause 3(5), the bidder should submit proof for having satisfactorily completed similar type of work of not less than 50 per cent of the value of the bid, under a single agreement for a State or Central Government Department.
The bench which dismissed the PIL in its order said, “It is the prerogative of the Government to test the samples at the field, particularly when the fact remains that such testing of the samples at the field is only to ensure the quality of the lights to be supplied by the bidder. Therefore, the contention of the petitioner that only if the Electrical Department is authorised by NABL, it can test the samples, cannot be accepted.”
The bench while rejecting the submission of the petitioner pertaining to Clause 3(5) as non-application of mind said, “It is placed on record that in one of the tender processes floated by the Public Works Department, value to the tune of 80% of the bid of the particular project should have been completed by the bidder for qualifying himself for submitting the tender. That being the case, when there has been similar circumstance when such conditions have hitherto been put by the Government in some of its previous tender notifications, it cannot be contended that Clause 3(5) is illegal and it is only to favour the bid of the previous successful bidder.”