JUDGEMENT

- (1.)The main grievance of the petitioner in this writ petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, is against condition No. 20(a) of the notice inviting tenders issued by respondent No. 3 by which along with other conditions a condition has been prescribed in order to become eligible for submitting the tender in response to the notice inviting tenders.
(2.)Condition No. 20(a) of the notice inviting tenders lays down that the intending tenderer's firm must submit a certificate, along with the tender form, of an Officer of the Government Department/Institution/Undertaking, showing their experience and execution of an order regarding supply of the substitute nutritious food of the value equivalent to 30% of the tender item which comes to Rs. 80,00,000/- in one year during the last three preceding years.
(3.)The petitioner/Company has filed this petition with the averments that the petitioner namely, M/s.Sharda Flour Pvt. Ltd., is one of the most reputed roller flour mills of the State of Chhattisgarh and is having all the latest modern machinery. The present petition has been filed through the Managing Director of the firm namely, Dinesh Kumar Bhootda. Respondents 2 and 3 have invited tenders for supply of substitute nutritious food and as per the tender programme, the tender was required to be submitted on 6-6-2003 before 2 p. m. and the same was to be opened at 4 p.m. on the same day before the District Purchase Committee. By the tender, supply of Dalia was required and certain conditions were also fixed. The notice inviting tenders and the tender form are Annexures P-1 and P-2. The petitioner has the experience of producing the best product and the firm is well equipped with the latest modern machinery. The quality of the product which is being produced by the petitioner is incomparable and to the utmost satisfaction of its buyers. The turnover of the petitioner for the year ending 31st March, 2002 was Rs. 14,09,33,275/-which has increased substantially in the year 2003 and has gone to the extent of Rs.20,64,35,593/-. A copy of the certificate dated 5-6-2003 issued by the Chartered Accountants of the petitioner is filed herewith. In the notice inviting tenders, one of the conditions has been imposed by the respondents in an arbitrary manner to favour some of the groups. The condition has been put in such a manner to reduce the competition and to ensure that choiced persons be awarded with the contract. As per condition No. 20(a), unless a person is having an experience certificate of supplying the substitute nutritious food to the tune of Rs. 80,00,000/- in any one year during the last three preceding years, he cannot be permitted to compete. The imposition of the condition is absolutely illegal and arbitrary and the same has been put with a motive to favour some particular person. This condition has been incorporated in order to narrow down the competition and in view of this condition, new person will never get entry in the competition. The very object of the Government is to ensure supply of quality material and to ensure that the same may be fulfilled as agreed by the tenderer. For ensuring supply, the Government can take proper security which the Government is already doing. As per the information available to the petitioner, even his case has not been forwarded to the final stage only on the ground that the petitioner is unable to fulfill condition No. 20 (a) of the tender item. The petitioner quoted a very competitive rates probably the lowest, whereas in those cases which have been forwarded to the higher authorities, the rates are more as compared to the rates of the petitioner. On account of such a condition, the competition will be among only 3 or 4 persons and it will become the monopoly of certain groups. Therefore, the petitioner is challenging the arbitrary and mala fide approach of the respondents. As per condition No. 23 of the document, Annexure P-1, it was mentioned that if the unit is having a certificate of ISO-9000, the same would be given preference as compared to other units. The petitioner has already applied for the ISO certificate on 12th June, 2003. Respondents 2 and 3 have sought the information of Food License ad Licensee under the Factory Act. Both these licenses are presently in possession of the petitioner and at the time of the filing of the tender form a renewal order is pending before the competent authority. Therefore, the respondents be directed to consider his case on the basis of the rates so quoted and on the basis of the supply of the sample subject to the final approval of the same by the competent authority. It is therefore, prayed that the respondents be directed to consider the case of the petitioner on merits by excluding condition No. 20(a) and respondents be directed to forward the sample of the petitioner to the laboratory at Mumbai.


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