Siemens moves SC, challenges defence ministry’s tender

Siemens moves SC, challenges defence ministry’s tender

New Delhi: Siemens Public Communication Networks Ltd has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Defence Ministry’s decision to award contract for supply of telecommunication software to rival Selex Communications SpA.

Challenging the Delhi High Court order that dismissed its petition, Siemens sought to restrain the Ministry and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) from negotiating with any other bidder on the ground that it was the lowest bidder for the tender.

The High Court while refusing to stall the entire project had rejected its plea on the ground that it did not deserve interference as the decision making process adopted by BEL was not malafide or intended to favour any one of the vendors.

BEL was the prime contractor for Indian Army’s modernisation plan for Technical Communication System (TCS) and had invited bids on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. The bids were for supply and transfer of technology of 80 Digital Radio Trunking System, also known as Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), a major component in the TCS Programme of the Army.

An Empowered Technical Committee had recommended three vendors - Siemens, Selex and Thales Land and Joint Systems. However, the Army in January this year informed the government that it required 1,200 Vehicle Mobile Terminals (VMTs).

The contract was later awarded to Selex. The High Court had also held that Siemens itself was responsible for the inadequacy in its bid and cannot blame BEL under the garb of saving revenue.