The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the The Board of Trustees of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) to file affidavit in reply to plea by Adani Ports and SEZ Limited challenging disqualification of its bid related to tender process for upgradation of the authority’s container terminal in Navi Mumbai. The multi-location port developer and operator has termed the disqualification by the Board of Trustees of JNPA as “illegal and in violation of fundamental and legal rights.”
The court will hear the plea next on May 13.
Adani Ports sought from the court a direction to restrain the board from declaring highest bidder or sign concession agreement with any other bidder pending hearing of the plea.
A vacation bench of Justice Anil K Menon and Justice Nitin R Borkar on Monday granted time to senior advocate Venkatesh Dhond for JNPA Board to file an affidavit by May 12 opposing ad-interim plea by Adani Ports.
Adani Ports, through senior advocates Ravi Kadam and Vikram Nankani, submitted that the JNPA Board commenced the first stage of selection for bidding by issuing tenders and had also issued five addendums for providing additional documents.
After the board raised a query pertaining to termination of concession agreement between the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) and Adani Vizag Coal Terminal Private Limited (AVCTPL), the petitioner responded that the arbitration panel was deciding disputes on legality of said termination.
As per the plea, Adani Ports was told that it had cleared the qualification stage and was asked to participate in bid stage and submit its financial proposal. However, before the procedure could begin, the JNPA board referred to Andhra Pradesh HC order that had upheld termination of concession agreement by VPT, and sent show cause notice to the firm as to why it cannot be disqualified from the tender for Navi Mumbai container terminal.