The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday cleared impediments to the construction of Bullet Train depot in Ahmedabad and overturned a Delhi High Court order directing the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) to consider a company called Montecarlo’s bid for the project. The Supreme Court ruled that the High Court should not have interfered with the tender process floated by NHSRCL unless there were allegations of mala-fide or favouritism.
The top court in its judgment said, “The project is not just important but of national importance and GICC/ JICA are the final authors of the terms and conditions of the tender floated and High Court should not have interfered with the conscious decision of GICC/JICA unless there was an allegation of mala-fide or favouritism.”
The bullet train project envisages the development of a high-frequency mass transportation system by constructing the High-Speed Rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, using Japan’s Shinkansen technology (also known as the “Bullet Train”), thereby enhancing mobility in India and contributing to regional economic development.
The bench, led by Justice MR Shah, added, “In a project of such importance there should be no interference as it may affect future projects and foreign investments.”
NHSRCL had floated a tender for the design and construction of civil and building works for the two depots in Gujarat in October 2020.
Gujarat-based company Montecarlo Ltd bid for the construction project but its bid along with bids of four others were rejected as being non-responsive.
Montecarlo then filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court, claiming that despite being the lowest bidder, NHSRCL had rejected it without giving a reason. In August of last year, the Delhi High Court issued an order instructing NHSRCL to consider Montecarlo’s bid.