MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court reserved its order on a petition filed by Tata Motors challenging the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport’s decision to disqualify it from the tendering process for operating electric buses in and around Mumbai.
In a writ petition filed before the court, the auto major also alleged BEST’s decision to award the contract for 2,100 e-buses to Hyderabad’s Evey Trans Pvt. Ltd reeked of favoritism and corruption.
“The action of BEST undertaking an award of a huge contract of 2,100 electric buses in favor of Evey Trans is tainted with arbitrariness, discrimination, favoritism, corruption, and collusion,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior counsel appearing for Tata Motors.
Singhvi alleged extraordinary circumstances led to the award of the contract, wherein the tender conditions were ignored and rules were deliberately bypassed to declare Evey Trans as the successful bidder.
BEST invited bids for operating state carriage services of 1,400 single-decker air conditioned e-buses in Mumbai and its suburbs on a gross-cost contract model for 12 years.
Subsequently, Tata Motors filed a technical and financial bid for the tender following a pre-bid meeting during which it requested BEST to amend certain parameters, which was agreed to. Meanwhile, BEST released the technical suitability evaluation, which Tata Motors claimed was incorrectly labeled as “technically non-responsive”.
“Tata Motors drifted from conditions where it planned to submit the models after testing them under simulated settings using the Automotive Industry Standards measure,” argued Venkatesh Dhond, the senior counsel for BEST, in his reply to the petition.
However, Tata Motors said that it had requested a deviation from the relevant standards for testing the range of the buses, but without any explanation for rejecting its request, BEST disqualified it from the tendering process.
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