Allowing a petition filed by Bahaadur Sethia, proprietor of Amar Refrigerations Company, Bengaluru, a division bench headed by Justice Alok Aradhe pointed out that while making a scrutiny of the complaint, the Assistant Registrar
(Enquiries) had found dereliction of duty on the part of tender evaluation committee.
While M/s N S Engineering Works, a manufacturer, was treated as an authorized dealer, allowing it to bid and awarded with contract by the technical evaluation committee, even though the said firm had produced VAT clearance certificate for only one year as against the requirement of three years.
“Thereafter, by a further scrutiny note, after perusal of the explanations of committee members, the very same Assistant Registrar held that the complainant is making effort to ensure that other bidders are disqualified. It was further held that in case, tender of complainant is accepted, it would result in loss of Rs 3 crore. It was also held that even though there are some technical lapses found in the evaluation of tenders, no financial loss was caused. Therefore, it was proposed that the further investigation be closed and the complaint be rejected” the division bench noted in their order.
“The aforesaid further scrutiny note was approved on May 23,2017 by the Lokayukta. Thus, it is evident that the grounds found out while scrutinizing the complaint and the finding that the respondents three to seven (committee members) are guilty of dereliction of duty were neither adverted to nor adjudicated by the Assistant Registrar (Enquiries). The further scrutiny report is cryptic and suffers from the vice of non application of mind. There is non compliance of Section 9(6) of Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984” the bench further added.
The petitioner is a dealer in cooling and refrigeration systems and he participates in the tenders of government establishments.
According to him, the original tender was cancelled and the e- tender issued on February 18,2014 contained severally relaxations, designed to favour one of the tenders. On April 28,2014, he submitted a complaint to Lokayukta.
Though the investigation by Lokayukta found several irregularities on the part of technical evaluation committee and also unsatisfied explanation by members of the said committee, however, on May 23,2017, the complaint was rejected.