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Clear Reason for Rejection of Bid Fundamental to Transparency in Tender Process

In a decision delivered by the Delhi High Court on June 1, 2024, in the case of JBMD Enterprises v. Sr. Dy. CGDA AN and Others [W.P.(C) 8410/2024 and CM APPL. 34686/2024] it was held that providing a clear and justified reason to a tenderer for the disqualification of its bid is fundamental to the transparency in the tendering process.

 

In this case, a partnership firm providing manpower services, participated in a tender published on the Government E-Marketplace (GeM Portal) for security manpower services. Despite submitting all required documents, the petitioner found their bid marked as “Not Evaluated” along with 226 other companies. On seeking clarification from the GeM Portal and the tendering authority, the petitioner received no response. Aggrieved by the same, the present writ petition was brought before the court to quash the bidding process and provide reasons for the rejection.

 

On a perusal of the e-mails placed on record, the court noted that the GeM Portal and the tendering authority were shifting responsibility and not addressing the petitioner’s queries. Further, the petitioner, having participated in the tender process, was entitled to know the reasons for the disqualification of its bid, and not providing the answers was against the fundamentals of the tendering process to maintain transparency. It was also essential to enable the rectification of deficiencies in future tenders. Thus, the court directed the GeM Portal and the tendering authority to communicate the reasons for the “Not Evaluated” remark on the petitioner’s bid within two weeks.