Tata Motors moves Bombay HC against BEST's disqualification decision

has moved the Bombay High Court challenging a decision of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) disqualifying the former from a tender bid for supplying electric buses worth around Rs 2,450 crore.

The division bench of Justices Nitin Sambre and Justice Anil Pansare on Tuesday directed BEST to file its response and has adjourned the case to May 23.

Tata Motors has challenged BEST’s May 6 decision of disqualifying its bid on technical grounds, alleging that it met all the technical specifications required.

As per the Bombay High Court website, the company had filed a plea on May 10.

In February, BEST had issued tender inviting bids for operating 1,400 electric buses in the city of Mumbai and extended suburbs on gross cost contract model for 12 years. The tender was won by Evey Trans Private Limited, with the order being valued at around Rs 2,450 crore.

Tata Motors argued in its petition that it submitted its technical and financial bid for the tender after a pre-bid meeting with BEST officials. However, when BEST published its technical suitability evaluation of the tender, it declared Tata Motors’ bid as ‘technically non-responsive’.

BEST has alleged that the deviation range mentioned by Tata Motors was not acceptable as per the tender issued.

This was erroneous as per the automaker, who said that its bid was in conformity with the conditions of the tender by guaranteeing an operating range of 200 kilometres with 80% charge without any interruption.

The declaration was also arbitrary, Tata motors claimed in its petition, as BEST selectively relaxed conditions of the tender for Evey Trans. The automaker alleged that BEST allowed bidders to give the required range with one charging interruption of up to an hour, which benefitted Evey Trans. Further, BEST also waived off the requirements of matching of rates while evaluating of bids, Tata Motors said in its petition.

“The said action of BEST is unreasonable, disproportionate, arbitrary and violative of Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution” argued the petition.

Senior Advocate Mustafa Doctor along with law firm Karanjawala & Co are representing Tata Motors in the case. Senior Advocate Sharan Jagtiani appeared for BEST.

Tata Motors and Evey Trans declined to comment as the matter is sub judice. ET couldn’t immediately reach BEST for comments.


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