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Shobikaa Impex Pvt. Ltd. And Anr v. Central Medical Services Society And Ors. - (Supreme Court) (20 Sep 2016)

Decision by Registration Committee of Central Insecticides Board (CIB) to provisionally approve registration does not amount to registration by itself with CIB



Instant appeal, by special leave, filed questioning justifiability of judgment passed by High Court of Delhi declining to interfere with decision taken by Respondents to treat the bid submitted by Appellants as non-compliant with conditions of Invitation for Bids (IFB) which resulted in dismissal of writ petition and application for clarification.

Goods to be supplied under contract has to be registered with authority for supplier and purchasers’ benefit. It is luminescent that decision of Registration Committee to grant registration certificate is subject to conditions. Apart from that, it had not granted any certificate but only a decision was taken. There is a clear distinction between a decision taken and the decision acted upon or given effect to. Therefore, Appellant cannot claim benefit of the said decision. As far as Instructions to Bidders is concerned, the initial clause was that the bidder must be registered under Central Insecticides Board (CIB) under the Act and the documentary evidence in this regard shall be submitted along with the bid.

Decision by the Registration Committee of CIB to provisionally approve registration does not amount to registration by itself with CIB. So the condition, as such, was not satisfied under unamended stipulation. The amended clause only provides about consequence thereof. Even if clause 6 would not have been amended, first respondent, on ground of non-production of registration certificate, would have been legally justified to reject bid. It is an essential condition incorporated in Instructions to Bidders. Decision was taken by Registration Committee of CIB to approve registration subject to condition DAC (Department of Agriculture & Co-operation) granting permission for commercialization. That apart, decision taken by concerned authority, even if it is put on website, would not tantamount to grant of registration certificate. Amendment was made, to clarify the position.

Even if amendment was not brought in, first respondent would have been in a position, by applying objective standards, to treat Appellants’ bid as non-responsive and non-compliant. Use of word “must” adds a great degree of certainty to the same; it is a requisite parameter as thought of by Respondent No.1. Tender was floated for purchase which is needed for the nation. First respondent along with Respondent Nos.2 and 3 were taking immense precaution. In such a circumstance, needless to emphasize, public interest is involved. It cannot succumb to private interest. Action on part of Respondent Nos.1 to 3 cannot be regarded as arbitrary or unreasonable.

Supreme Court opined that, essential condition of tender being not met with, tenderer, Appellants herein, were ineligible and tender was non-responsive. That apart, amendment was applicable to all. Additionally, High Court in first round of litigation had not held that, registration certificate granted on 31.03.2015 would ensure to benefit of the writ petitioners from date of decision of the registration authority, and it had rightly not said so.

Relevant : B.S.N. Joshi & Sons Ltd. v. Nair Coal Services Ltd. and others


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