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An Indo-Russian company’s vendor, M/s BSS Material from Amethi, has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court contesting its exclusion from the bidding process for a massive ?12,000 crore contract to supply close-quarter battle carbines to the Indian Army.

The crux of the petition revolves around alleged “ambiguity” in the bidding process. M/s BSS Material claims the technical evaluation committee (TEC) mistakenly considered their financials instead of those of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), IRRPL.

The petitioner seeks a court order directing the TEC to re-evaluate their bid and address the perceived ambiguity within the selection documents. The court has reportedly issued a notice to the Ministry of Defence, requiring a response to the vendor’s claim of arbitrary exclusion.

Jindal Defence and Adani Group’s PLR Systems are said to be among the frontrunners for the lucrative contract. M/s BSS Material argues that, as per “usual and general practice,” the manufacturer’s financial health should be the primary consideration.

The dispute stems from the TEC’s rejection of M/s BSS Material’s bid in December 2023, citing a failure to meet the technical criteria, specifically financial conditions like average annual turnover and net worth. The petition claims that M/s BSS Material had, in July 2023, requested the TEC to consider the financials of IRRPL, the actual carbine manufacturer, instead of theirs as the authorized vendor.