Court refuses to halt military radar purchase

June 13th, 2008 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday refused to stop the government from purchasing a key radar for the Indian Air Force (IAF), saying it was satisfied the correct procedures were being followed. A division bench headed by judge S.N.Agrawal declined to grant any relief to the petitioner, who alleged that the procedure being followed was illegal and not transparent as no open tender was issued for the purchase of the Rs.700 million Doppler weather radar.

“We are not inclined to interfere in the matter as we are of the view that the government has taken right decision,” the court said.

The ruling came after government counsel Sanjeev Kumar Dubey informed the court that the tender had been opened on Thursday, that correct procedures had been followed and that no illegality was involved.

The government follows a uniform policy and disclosure of specifications regarding defence deals was neither in the interest of national security nor in public interest, Dubey added.

He also pointed out that the limited tender floated in the present deal was not an isolated case but was a well-established procedure followed by the government in defence deals.

Petitioner C.K. Bhardwaj owns a firm that has a tie-up with a Chinese radar manufacturing company. He contended he was not allowed to participate in the bidding process as the government had not floated an open tender.

“It’s a violation of my fundamental rights. I was not allowed to participate in the tendering because the government, instead of issuing an open tender, preferred closed tender,” Bhardwaj maintained in his petition.

This did not cut any ice with the court, which refused to pass an interim order on the petition. It, however, agreed to hear the matter but limited this to the policy of issuing closed tenders and asked the centre file its response.

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