A division bench of the High court led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik passed the judgment on Adani’s plea. The hearing on the case concluded last week.
The Adani group termed the disqualification of its bid by the JNPA as “illegal and in violation of fundamental and legal rights.”
The company sought from the court a direction to restrain the JNPA Board from declaring the highest bidder or from signing a concession agreement with any other bidder pending hearing of the plea. “In the event the highest bidder is declared and steps have been taken in furtherance to that, the effect and operation of the same be stayed,” the company urged. As an alternative, it urged the court to stay the operation and implementation of the disqualification letter, and allow the firm to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage of the tender process.
Adani Ports was disqualified from the tender process to upgrade the state-run port authority’s container handling facility last month..
JNPA sought dismissal of the plea
However, In its affidavit, the JNPA sought dismissal of the plea stating that the court, which does not have expertise to examine “terms and conditions of present day economic activities of the state,” cannot intervene in the plea. “The project involves financial implication and investment of over Rs 827 crore. If the tender is delayed, operations at JN Port container terminal will come to a complete halt, and the port productivity, berth productivity and service to the trade will also get affected,” it said.