Central Coalfields Limited vs SLL – SML (Joint Venture Consortium) - Supreme Court

 Central Coalfields Limited & Anr. vs SLL – SML (Joint Venture Consortium) - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2016 - 

 

On 17th August, 2016, in the case of Central Coalfields Limited & Anr. vs SLL – SML (Joint Venture Consortium) & Ors. [Civil Appeal No. 8004 of 2016], it was held that “the issue of the acceptance or rejection of a bid or a bidder should be looked at not only from the point of view of the unsuccessful party but also from the point of view of the employer.”


 It was further held that “whether a term of the NIT is essential or not is a decision taken by the employer which should be respected. Even if the term is essential, the employer has the inherent authority to deviate from it provided the deviation is made applicable to all bidders and potential bidders.” “However, if the term is held by the employer to be ancillary or subsidiary, even that decision should be respected. The lawfulness of that decision can be questioned on very limited grounds”, “but the soundness of the decision cannot be questioned, otherwise this Court would be taking over the function of the tender issuing authority, which it cannot.” “Again, looked at from the point of view of the employer if the Courts take over the decision-making function of the employer and make a distinction between essential and non-essential terms contrary to the intention of the employer and thereby re-write the arrangement, it could lead to all sorts of problems.”

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