HC dismisses Adani’s appeal against the JNPA

Adani Ports had previously in May filed a court motion, which led to this. The arguments put forth on support of Adani Ports are without validity, in our opinion. The plea is therefore dismissed,” a panel consisting of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M.S. Karnik declared.

The case by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. to contest the decision by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) board of trustees to disqualify its bid for upgrading a container port in Navi Mumbai was denied by the Bombay High Court on Monday.

Adani Ports had previously in May filed a court motion, which led to this. “We find no merit in the contentions urged on behalf of Adani Ports. Accordingly, the petition stands dismissed,” said a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M.S. Karnik.

“The decision of JNPA to disqualify the petitioner after having once declared it as qualified, to our mind, conforms to the settled law that JNPA was bound by the tender terms and conditions, which amounts to a representation to the public, and that any deviation therefrom would have amounted to a fraud on public, unless JNPA reserved unto it a power of relaxation of an eligibility criterion,” the bench ruled.

The court declared the lawsuit to be meritless and ordered Adani Ports to pay JNPA 5 lakh. The company has already paid JNPA 4.24 lakh rupees with its tender, and the remaining amount is anticipated to be paid within a month.

In order to upgrade, operate, maintain, and transfer the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal through a public-private partnership for a concession period of 30 years, a global invitation of Request For Qualification (RFQ) was launched.

The private company was rejected by JNPA from the competition to privatise the state-run port authority’s facility for handling containers on May 3. Any company implicated in contract termination at other ports will not be allowed to participate in the terminal privatisation bidding process, according to JNPA’s terms and conditions in the tender document. In December 2020, APSEZ’s portion of the contract to manage a coal handling facility for the Vishakapatnam Port Authority was terminated.

Adani Ports includes Adani Vizag Coal Terminal Pvt Ltd.

The Adani group company, on the other hand, claimed that its removal from the JNPA contracting process was illegal and dishonest. The board had discovered a judgement by the Andhra Pradesh High Court supporting Vizag Port Trust’s termination of the concession deal.