Adani Ports have been directed to pay ₹5 lakh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority, Navi Mumbai.

The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed the plea by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited of Adani challenging disqualification of its bid for upgrade of the container terminal in Navi Mumbai by the Board of Trustees of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA).

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M.S. Karnik rejected the plea as non-meritorious and directed the companies to pay ₹5 lakh to JNPA. Since Adani Ports has already submitted Rs 4.25 lakh with the tender to JNPA, it will deposit the remaining ₹75, 000.

The Bench also refused Adani Ports’s request to maintain status quo and not open bids till it sought relief before the Supreme Court.

As per the plea the said bidding process consisted of two stages, the first stage was a global invitation of ‘Request for Qualification’ (RFQ) seeking application from interested parties. The second stage was where the applicants had to send their ‘Request for Proposal.’ Adani ports had contended that after submitting its RFQ, the Board sought clarifications from them and also raised a query about the termination of concession agreement between Visakhapatnam Port Trust and Adani Vizag coal.

Although Adani responded to the said query and the Board acknowledged that the company had cleared the qualification stage the Board sent a show cause notice asking why they should not be disqualified from the bidding process.

The plea mentions, the Board’s notice came consequent to an order by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, wherein the termination of the concession agreement was upheld. Finally in a letter dated May 2, 2022 the Board issued a termination letter. Adani Ports Limited sought a direction from court to restrain the Board of Trustees from declaring the highest bidder and grant a stay if it has been done.

As per the latest logistic performance index report, JNPA is rated the best performing port in the country with the highest index value being 84.61.

Source : The Hindu