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Adani Ports disqualified from bidding process: Gujarat HC asks Deendayal Port Authority to re-examine issue

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AHMEDABAD : A division bench of the Gujarat High Court quashed and set aside a communication of December 2021 by the Deendayal Port Trust wherein it had disqualified Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZL) from participating in the second stage of the bidding process for development of mechanized fertilizer and other clean cargo handling facilities at a berth of the port on ‘Design, Build Operate and Transfer’ basis.

A petition was moved by APSEZL and a shareholder in APSEZL, one Anish Shah, in December 2021 before the Gujarat HC challenging Deendayal Port Trust’s decision, primarily contending that APSEZL has no idea as to what has gone wrong and why Deendayal Port Trust has thought fit to disqualify APSEZL from bidding in the second stage, as no reasons were ascribed by the Deendayal Port Trust for such disqualification in its communication dated December 23, 2021.

Pronouncing the operative part of the verdict in the petition on Tuesday in the open court, the bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice AJ Shastri directed Deendayal Port Trust to “reexamine the issue with regard to qualification or disqualification” of APSEZL as a bidder in the in the second stage of the bidding process as per the provisions of the RFQ (request for quotation) and to pass a fresh order within six weeks in this regard “in accordance with law after assigning proper reasons and in due compliance of principles of natural justice” by affording APSEZL an opportunity of hearing.

The bench made it clear that it has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case at this point.

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