New Delhi: In a relief to Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Energy Ltd, the Supreme Court on 25 June extended the stay on the bidding process for the over Rs 2,600 crore sea link expressway between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
Hearing a petition filed by REL, a Bench headed by Justice Tarun Chatterjee extended the stay granted by Bombay High Court restraining Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd from opening the bids for the project.
The apex court extended the interim stay till 24 July, the next date of hearing. The high court had on 4 June stayed the opening of bids till 2 July.
MSRDC is the nodal agency for implementing the 22.5 km project, the country’s longest sea link scheme that would reduce the travelling time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
Incidentally, Mukesh Ambani-led Sea King Infrastructure is the front-runner to bag the project.
A consortium led by REL, which includes Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company Ltd, has challenged MSRDC’s decision to disqualify it from the bidding process for the Mumbai Trans Harbour-Link project.
According to REL, MSRDC had disqualified the consortium on the ground that its major partner Hyundai did not meet the criterion of Rs 200 crore net worth.
Seeking to set aside the MSRDC decision, REL counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, S Ganesh and Syed Naqvi argued REL’s net worth was more than the requirement for the consortium.
They further sought a direction to Maharashtra government to allow the consortium to participate in the second stage of the bidding process and issue Request for Proposal (RfP) documents for the project.
REL counsel contended MSRDC and its consultant CRISIL’s decision was “arbitrary and vitiable” as they applied wrong accounting standards for calculating net profit.
“There was a clear and complete fallacy in CRISIL’s opinion as they had treated income on accrual basis as cash income and cash outflow when there was a reversal of the same, thus completely mixing up two distinct accounting methods viz. the cash system and the mercantile system of accounting,” the REL petition stated.
It further said MSRDC did not cite any specific accounting standard while disqualifying its bid.
Besides, they did not agree to high court’s suggestion to appoint a panel of chartered accountants to look into the matter, REL added.