Article 226- HC Cannot Relax Terms & Conditions Of A Tender Notice: SC [Read Order]

Article 226- HC Cannot Relax Terms & Conditions Of A Tender Notice: SC [Read Order]

'Such relaxation would be patently discriminatory.'

The Supreme Court has observed that, in exercise of power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, a High Court has no power to relax the terms and conditions of a tender notice.

While upholding the Allahabad High Court order that dismissed a challenge against rejection of a candidature of a person who had applied for dealership of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Liquid Petroleum Gas Vitrak Yozana (RGGLPGVY), the bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah said:

Such relaxation would be patently discriminatory, for it would then be open for other applicants ineligible on the last date for submission of applications to contend that, they could have acquired eligibility subsequently.

In this case [Durgawati Devi vs. Union of India], the relevant clause of the tender notice provided that the applicant should own a plot of land of adequate size at the advertised RGGLPGVY location, for construction of godown for storage of 5000 kg of LPG in cylinders, or ready LPG cylinder storage godown of 5000 kg capacity.

The court noted that, as on the last date for submission of applications in terms of the advertisement referred to above, she did not own land as required but only had an agreement for sale in her favour. In this regard, the bench said:

It is well-settled that execution of a sale agreement does not transfer ownership/title. Ownership can only be acquired by a registered deed of conveyance. The petitioner was not eligible as on the last date for submission of applications.

While upholding the High Court order, the bench observed:

The High Court cannot, and rightly did not, in exercise of power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, relax the terms and conditions of a tender notice. -3- Such relaxation would be patently discriminatory, for it would then be open for other applicants ineligible on the last date for submission of applications to contend that, they could have acquired eligibility subsequently.

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