Friday, August 19, 2022

Adani Ports moves Supreme Court against Bombay High Court imposing Rs 5 lakh cost on it

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The Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited has knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court, challenging the Bombay High Court order, imposing cost of Rs five lakh on it in a case related to tender issued by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA).

The High Court had also dismissed Adani Ports’ plea, challenging the disqualification of its bid related to a tender issued by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) for upgradation of its container terminal in Navi Mumbai.

Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned the matter before a Vacation Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.B. Pardiwala, seeking urgent listing. The Bench told them to approach the Registry.

As per Singhvi, Adani Ports were leading ports manager of the country and were even cleared as a bidder. He said the company was later disqualified. The High Court delivered its verdict on Monday and now, they were offering the bid again.

The matter was related to a global invitation issued by JNPA, calling for applications from interested parties for operation and maintenance of their container terminal for a period of 30 years.

However, even before the procedure for bidding could begin, the Board sent a notice to the company, asking them to showcause as to why they should not be disqualified from the said tender.

The Board took note of an order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had upheld the termination of the concession agreement by VPT.

After the hearing, Adani had asked the Board to let him participate in the bid ‘without prejudice’.

However on May 2, the Board disqualified them from participating in the present tender process, on the grounds of termination letter issued to the company by the VPT.

Adani then filed an application in the Bombay High Court against the Board.

The High Court Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M.S. Karnik, however, dismissed the plea.

The High Court had ruled in JNPT’s favour, stating that it was bound by the tender terms and conditions and that any deviation would have amounted to a fraud on public.

The High Court then directed Adani to bear the costs of the proceeding, amounting to Rs five lakh, for bringing an unmeritorious case for adjudication.

[Case Title: Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited vs Board of Trustees of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority & Ors]

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