In a relief to Reliance Life Sciences, the Bombay High Court quashed and set aside a communication dated June 8, 2017, from the Directorate of Health Services, Government of Maharashtra, wherein the firm’s bid in the tender process was rejected as it de-registered an earlier order of the Bihar government.
A bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing a writ petition filed by the aggrieved firm the contended that the said order dated October 11, 2012, had de-blacklisted them, but had de-registered them for the next 5 years because of failure to supply Anti-Hemophilic Factor VIII (AHF), a medicine used against haemophilia, within the prescribed time.
The relevant clause in the tender reads thus:
“Tenders are not allowed from manufacturer or distributor for the product(s) for which the firm is found guilty of malpractice, misconduct or is blacklisted.”
After examining all the facts on record, the court observed:
The de-registration, even if any, as recorded, for the reasons so reproduced, in no way, can be considered as “malpractice” and/or “misconduct”. It is important that for treating or initiating any proceedings against any person revolving the concept of “malpractice” or “misconduct” required to be in consonance with the procedure of settled law. This is not the situation where the Petitioners' case, in any way, directly or indirectly falls within the ambit of “misconduct” and/or “mal-practice”. The de-registration cannot be treated as “misconduct” or “mal-practice”. There is no surviving case even of “blacklisting”.
Terming the rejection of the petitioner firm’s participation in the tender process ‘unjust and unsustainable’, the court set aside the communication and asked the respondents to consider the bid afresh.