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GO on tender for egg supply for nutritious meal scheme quashed
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Thursday quashed the Government Order (GO), through which tender was floated to supply eggs to school students under Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme.
A bunch of petitions seeking to quash the GO dated August 20, 2018 came up for hearing before Justice R Mahadevan. The petitioners claimed that as many as 45 lakh eggs were being procured on a daily basis to benefit 58 lakh children under this programme. According to the GO, bidders from other states apart from Tamil Nadu could not participate in the tender process to supply eggs, but egg suppliers from six zones classified in parts of Tamil Nadu could only take part.
Due to this, the bidders, who wish to quote a lower price for eggs, could not participate. Hence, the petitioners sought the bench to grant an interim stay. The Madras High Court too ordered the same. Since the required quantity of eggs could not be procured, there were problems regarding the supply of eggs.
On hearing the petition, the bench said terms and conditions stated in the tender notified on August 20, 2018 were violated and contrary to the relevant act and rules. Also, there’s no basis to state that egg producers would be better suited persons than the egg suppliers to ensure adequate and uninterrupted supply. Hence, the tender notification had nothing to offer to beneficiaries, who were covered under the noon meal programme. The respondent authorities were directed to issue a fresh tender notification in accordance with the act and rules. Further, the bench also ordered that existing suppliers should continue to supply eggs at the same quantity and at same price as originally awarded in the contract, till the new tender process is completed and new suppliers are selected.