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GMR-Fraport gave wrong info: Reliance

By BS Legal Correspondent in New Delhi
February 14, 2006 10:00 IST

Reliance Airports Developers today submitted before the Delhi high court that the GMR-Fraport consortium, which was awarded the contract to modernise the Delhi airport, did not disclose that its contract for the modernisation of the Manila airport had been annulled.

Appearing before a Division Bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice BN Chaturvedi, senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the Anil Ambani-owned company, said GMR-Fraport had given wrong information to the government regarding its experience of executing the development of the Manila and Frankfort airports for which it was awarded 0.5 point by the technical committee.

The drama of airport privatisation

If this 0.5 point was deducted, GMR-Fraport would slip below the qualifying benchmark of 80 points, he argued.

According to him, the Philippines Supreme Court had on May 5, 2003, annulled Fraport's Manila airport contract. The German police was also allegedly investigating corruption charges against Fraport's chief executive officer, he said.

The government should have disqualified GMR-Fraport for failing to make truthful disclosure it was required to under the contract, Rohtagi contended.

Seeking cancellation of the entire tender process, he further alleged that the GETE committee, headed by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation managing director E Sreedharan, had no jurisdiction to appraise the bids.

He said the committee did not have the "locus standi" or experience to "adjudge projects of this nature, magnitude and complexity".

Contending that the methodology adopted by the committee was entirely arbitrary and illogical, Rohtagi said the committee's recommendations were flawed as it only reviewed the "management capability" and not the "development criteria" of the bidders.

Rohtagi also questioned the reasoning behind the GETE committee lowering the Reliance-led consortium's marks to 74 from 80.6. He asked why, if the technical qualification was lowered to 50 points, Sterlite Industries' bid was not opened despite being marked above 50. The Sterlite-led combine could have made the highest financial bid, he claimed.
BS Legal Correspondent in New Delhi
Source: source
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