HC: No need for BMC to float tenders to appoint firms for road audits

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does not necessarily have to invite tenders for appointing a company to audit city roads, the Bombay High Court held Friday.

A full bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah, Justice Ranjit More and Justice A A Sayed held that the civic body has the power to appoint a particular firm for the purpose. The judges dismissed a petition filed by a Nationalist Congress Party leader Niyaz Ahmed Vanu demanding that a tender process be made mandatory for making such appointments.

In February this year, a division bench of the court had referred the matter to a full bench, observing that a larger issue of law was required to be decided.

Vanu had challenged corporation's decision to appoint Swiss firm SGS Consultancy to audit road works in the city without calling for auctions. BMC had appointed the firm for Rs 6.78 crore. The petitioner contended that the same work could have been done by other audit firms at cheaper rates.

SGS Consultancy had earlier contended that it has vast experience in the field and that it has also done similar work for the Golden Quadrilateral as well. The consultancy also argued that previous auditing work had not seemed to have yielded the desired results and that the city's roads continued to generally be in a bad condition.

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