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“A mandatory provision conceived in the interest of a party can be waived by that party, whereas a mandatory provision conceived in the interest of the public cannot be waived by him. In other words, wherever a complaint of violation of a mandatory provision is made, the Court should enquire – in whose interest is the provision conceived. If it is not conceived in the interest of the public, question of waiver and/or acquiescence may arise

  • subject, of course, to the pleadings of the parties.”


A Division Bench of this Court in Patel Engineering Ltd. and Another vs.

National Highways Authority of India and Others; AIR 2005 Delhi 298, cited with approval the ratio in New Horizons Ltd. vs. Union of India; (1995) 1 SCC 478, that: "the requirement regarding experience does not mean that the offer of the original company must be considered because it has experience in its name though it does not have experienced persons with it and ignore the offer of the new company because it does not have experience in its name though it has persons having experience in the field.

While considering the requirement regarding experience it has to be the said requirement is contained in a document inviting offers transaction. The terms and conditions of such a document have to be standpoint of a prudent businessman……”

borne in mind that for a commercial construed from the

  • (v)

    In West Bengal State Electricity Board vs. Patel Engineering Co. Ltd. and Others;

    • (2001)

      2 SCC 451, the Supreme Court observed:

“23. The mistakes/errors in question, it is stated, are unintentional and occurred due to the fault of computer termed as “a repetitive systematic computer typographical transmission failure”. It is difficult to accept this contention. A mistake may be unilateral or mutual but it is always unintentional. If it is intentional it ceases to be a mistake. Here the mistakes may be unintentional but it was not beyond the control of Respondents 1 to 4 to correct the same before submission of the bid. Had they been vigilant in checking the bid documents before their submission, the mistakes would have been avoided. Further, correction of such mistakes after one-and-a-half months of opening of the bids will also be violative of clauses 24.1, 24.3 and 29.1 of the ITB.

24. The controversy in this case has arisen at the threshold. It cannot be disputed that this is an international competitive bidding which postulates keen competition and high efficiency. The bidders have or should have assistance of technical experts. The degree of care required in such a bidding is greater than in ordinary local bids for small works. It is essential to maintain the sanctity and integrity of process of tender/bid and also award of a contract. The appellant, Respondents 1 to 4 and Respondents 10 and 11 are all bound by the ITB which should be complied with scrupulously. In a work of this nature and magnitude where bidders who fulfil prequalification alone are invited to bid, adherence to the instructions cannot be given a go-by by branding it as a pedantic approach, otherwise it will encourage and provide scope for discrimination, arbitrariness and favouritism which are totally opposed to the rule of law and our constitutional values. The very purpose of issuing rules/instructions is to ensure their enforcement lest the rule of law should be a casualty. Relaxation or waiver of a rule or condition, unless so provided under the ITB, by the State or its agencies (the appellant) in favour of one bidder would create justifiable doubts in the minds of other bidders, would impair the rule of

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