Expert evaluation of tender should not be second guessed by writ court unless there is Mala fides and arbitrariness: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has observed that the expert evaluation of a particular tender, particularly when it comes to technical evaluation, is not to be second guessed by a writ court, unless arbitrariness or Mala fide on the part of the tendering authority is alleged.
The inspector general of police, Kashmir zone, zonal police of Kashmir, Srinagar invited online tenders from reputed transporters, registered firms or associations for the supply of various types of commercial vehicles without fuel for the carriage of troops and equipment for the financial year. The companies like JK Roadways, galaxy transport agencies submitted their tenders. The tender opening committee found that JK Roadways, and associated contractors did not meet the qualifying requirements for the technical bid. Galaxy transport agency was technically eligible, so it was allotted the contract. This allotment was challenged before the Jammu and Kashmir High court by JK Roadways by filing a writ petition. Though, the single bench dismissed the petition, the division bench allowed the appeal filed by JK Roadways by holding that it was wrongly disqualified by the tendering authority.
The bench comprising of justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph observed that the authority, the author of the tender document is the best person to understand appreciate its requirement. They said that it’s interpretation should not be guessed by a court in judicial review proceedings.