The state government has informed the Bombay High Court that it wants to accept the bulletproof jackets from the private firm that was to supply them, but will do so only after testing them.
In March, Techno Trade Impex India Private Limited had filed three different petitions in the high court seeking that the police be directed to accept the consignment of robot, 82 bomb suits and total containment vehicle — it assists the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad to defuse bombs — and clear its dues of Rs 14 crore.
But government pleader R.R. Bhosale informed the court that they had “never refused to accept the consignment of bulletproof jackets” offered by the firm.
“We had written a letter [to the firm] on March 6 saying we want to conduct an inspection of the jackets before taking the consignment,” argued Bhosale.
Because of the urgency in acquiring the bulletproof jackets, the police had given the contract to the company.
The government had filed an affidavit last month, stating that they have advanced more than Rs 6 crore to the firm, but
they have not received the jackets.
“We [the government] had even advanced some money for acquiring 82 jackets. When the petition was filed, alleging that we are not accepting the consignment, hardly 14 jackets were ready,” argued Bhosale.
“Even today we are willing to accept the jackets, but how can we just accept them without testing them?”
Hindustan Times had carried a three-part series on February 8, 9 and 10 highlighting how the Mumbai and Maharashtra police had realised that they need bulletproof jackets, robot and TVC and called for tenders after the November 26, 2008 terror attacks.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari kept the matter for hearing after two weeks.
The court also asked the government to file its reply on the petitions pertaining to the
total containment vehicle and robot.