The government-run Rajya Sabha TV won a legal battle against a IT systems company with the Delhi high court dismissing a petition which challenged the tender process to procure software ahead of its launching of 24x7 services.
“It is not a case of buying potatoes or mangoes. It is not a case of buying tables and chairs. It is a case where a person already has the operating systems and is desirous of purchasing software.
Surely, compatibility in the form of which is the best compatible software is a relevant part of the decision making process and has to be left to the decision of the person concerned”, a bench of justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice Pratibha Rani said.
Bee Hive Systems private ltd, an unsuccessful bidder moved court challenging the decision not to procure its software WASP3D claiming it was compatible with the VIZrt system for which the Rajya Sabha secretariat had floated a tender.
The company contended that the secretariat flouted rules by floating a single tender enquiry and it was deliberately done to keep them out of contention.
The company alleged that the government’s decision violated the rules of General Financial Rules 2005. The government told the court that a technical committee evaluated the performance of the WASP3D computer software developed by the petitioner company but found it incompatible with the requirement.
“It is settled law that the Government has the freedom to trade as it wishes. Law does not prohibit a single tenderer, provided the decision to procure the goods from a single source is fair and reasonable. In the areas of computer software programmes it is left best to the decision of the consumer to decide which operating system best suits the requirement of the consumer keeping in view the existing hardware available with the consumer”, the court said.