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December 10, 2023

APSEZ Could Participate In Tenders Floated By “Public Bodies”: Supreme Court

By Aakanksha Nigam

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones (APSEZ), India’s largest port developer and operator, has been subject to numerous exclusions from state-owned port projects as a result of the case. The Supreme Court issued a statement stating that APSEZ could participate in tenders floated by “public bodies.”

A bench of Justices M R Shah and Krishna Murari stated that Adani Ports would continue to participate in future open competitions despite the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s decision to uphold the termination of an agreement between the private business and the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT).

Based on a provision in the JNPA tender, APSEZ was prohibited from submitting a bid for the renovation of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority container terminal in Navi Mumbai.

A bidder would be automatically disqualified from participating in future bids if they had been disqualified from or terminated a contract with a public entity in the previous three years, according to the clause. The termination of VPT’s contract automatically barred APSEZ from taking part in the JNPA bid in Mumbai, according to JNPA, who highlighted this condition.

The Supreme Court ruled that the petitioner would not be barred from participating in future public body contracts or would not be disqualified if VPT terminated the current tender. The petitioner may freely bring a new challenge to the disqualification clause before the HC as it was not raised before that body.

Adani Ports has appealed to the Supreme Court a decision made by the Bombay High Court that rejected its appeal of the JNPA contract disqualification and levied a fine of Rs. 5 lakh.

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