The submission was made before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul which was hearing a plea of a condom manufacturer alleging that government awarded tender for supply of the condoms to a state-run agency at a higher price than what the private company had offered.
The court, however, issued notice to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and directed it to file its response on the plea of private company MHL Healthcare Ltd (MHL).
The bench has listed the matter for hearing on November 20. Advocate Kirtiman Singh, appearing for the ministry, told the bench that the tender has been scrapped and fresh one is being initiated.
MHL, an approved rate contract holder of the government for the last eight years, has challenged the award of tender for supply of condoms, to be distributed by ASHA workers, to a government undertaking at a higher price than what was fixed in the tendering process.
The government had floated the tender for procurement of 503 million pieces of condom in October 2013 and MHL had submitted its technical as well as price bid of Rs 206.88 per 100 pieces of condom, the petition, filed through advocate Rishi Agrawala, has said.
MHL, thereafter, qualified in the technical bid, but as its price bid was found to be on the higher side, the government had made a counter-offer of Rs 149.40 per 100 pieces and sought confirmation of the same from the company within a stipulated period.
MHL had confirmed the counter-offer. However, it then found out that the ministry had placed an order with HLL Lifecare Ltd (a Government of India Undertaking) for 200 million pieces of condoms at a price of Rs 180.77 per 100 pieces.
The company has sought directions to the Centre to take supplies of condoms from MHL at the rate of Rs 149.40 per 100 pieces fixed by the government.