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PMs museum: CPWD penalised for rejection of bid to build

PMs museum: CPWD penalised for rejection of bid to build

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed CPWD to pay Rs 1.5 lakh to an architectural firm for unjustifiably rejecting its bid for constructing a museum for India's Prime Ministers on the premises of Nehru Memorial at Teen Murti Bhawan.

The court, however, did not quash the contract citing the substantial outlay of expenditure, which has already occurred pursuant to the award of tender, and the work progress at the site.

"We do not consider it to be in the larger public interest to quash the award of the project and direct further processing of the petitioner's (firm) bid, or to mandate that a de novo exercise be carried out in the present case by calling for fresh tenders," said a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Prateek Jalan.

The court directed the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to refund to Bangalore-based Flying Elephant Studio the amounts incurred on tender documents and fee.

"...the present petition is disposed of without granting any relief to the petitioner... However, in the peculiar facts and circumstances, the respondent No.1 (CPWD) will pay the costs of these proceedings to the petitioner. The costs are assessed at Rs 1,50,000 to be paid within two weeks," it said in a recent order.

The petition concerned a 'Notice Inviting Tender' (NIT) issued by the CPWD for a Prime Ministers museum on the premises of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library at Teen Murti Bhawan here.

The firm's grievance was that its bid for the museum was rejected by the CPWD.

The authorities told the court that they rejected the bid on the ground that the firm did not satisfy the eligibility criteria and that the previous projects executed by it do not fall within the categories of buildings enumerated in the definition of 'Similar Comprehensive Consultancy Work' contained in the NIT. The firm's counsel submitted that it fulfilled all the eligibility criteria set out in the 'Initial Eligibility Criteria' provided by CPWD in the tender notice.

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