A condom manufacturer has dragged the Centre to Delhi High Court, expressing apprehension that it may be deprived of a contract for supply of over 100 million pieces of male contraceptives despite edging out others in the tender process.
Pending the matter in which the private company cited the government’s previous year’s decision to involve a PSU by ignoring its “successful bid” to supply condoms, the high court in its interim order directed the Centre not to cancel the tender process for supply of male contraceptives which are to be distributed by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
It said the interim order would not come in the way of awarding of tender.
The court was hearing a petition filed by private company MHL Healthcare Ltd (MHL) expressing apprehension that like last year, the Centre may cancel the entire process.
“This is petition filed by the petitioner on the apprehension that each time a tender is floated and he is L1, subsequently the tender is cancelled. This time also apprehending that the tender will be cancelled, he is before the court. Till the next date of hearing of the matter no cancellation order should be passed,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said.
It also asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to file its counter affidavit on the plea within two weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on July 14.
The bench issued notice to HLL Lifecare Ltd (a government of India undertaking) which was awarded the order by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for supply of condoms after the tender was cancelled last year.
Appearing for MHL, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan said the last time also the government had awarded tender for supply of condoms to a state-run agency at a “higher price” than what the private company had offered.
MHL said that last time also after it became the “top bidder” for the supply of contraceptives, the ministry had cancelled the tender and had placed an order with HLL Lifecare Ltd for 200 million pieces of condoms at a price of Rs 180.77 per 100 pieces.
The bench, however, said that it will hear the matter on merit after all respondents file their counter affidavits on the petition.
Earlier, on November 7, last year, Centre had informed the court that it has scrapped its tender for supply of male contraceptives and fresh process has been initiated.