E-bus tender: Tata Motors challenges disqualification by BEST

A vacation bench of Justices Nitin Sambre and Anil Pansare, while asking the BEST to file its reply, refused to grant relief in terms of stay on the tender process.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 12:18 AM IST
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Representative Image | Twitter/BEST

The Bombay High Court has issued notice to the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) on a petition filed by Tata Motors challenging its May 6 decision, disqualifying the latter from the tender for 1,400 electric buses on account of alleged deviation from tender specifications.

A vacation bench of Justices Nitin Sambre and Anil Pansare, while asking the BEST to file its reply, refused to grant relief in terms of stay on the tender process.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Tata Motors alleging that its technical bid was arbitrarily rejected to unfairly favour another bidder, Evey Trans Pvt Ltd.

On February 26, the BEST published an e-tender notice for two-bid e-tender for operation of Stage Carriage Services for public transport of 1,400 (+50 per cent variation) in single decker AC electric buses (with driver) in the city of Mumbai and suburbs.

Tata Motors submitted its technical and financial bid on April 25. However, on May 6, BEST published technical suitability evaluation of the tender and wrongly declared Tata Motors’ bid as “technically non-responsive” alleging that the deviation mentioned in respect of operating range is not acceptable. It also claimed that acceptance of TOTO conditions was not submitted. The plea seeks stay on the stay of the tender process.

Senior advocate Mustafa Doctor, briefed by Karanjawala & Co and Lexicon for Tata Motors Ltd, urged the HC to review BEST’s decision as the company’s bid was in conformity with the conditions of the Tender. Tata Motors has said that it is providing a guarantee of operating range of the e-buses as 200 km for single decker buses with 80 per cent State of Charge (SoC) without any interruption.

Mr Sharan Jagtiani and Neerav Shah appeared for the BEST and said that they will file a reply by the next date of hearing. The HC has granted liberty to file its rejoinder (additional affidavit).

Evey Trans Pvt Ltd has also been made respondent in the petition. It was represented by senior advocate Percy Pardiwal and advocate Rohan Cama. The HC has kept the petition for hearing on May 23.

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