Judicial review is the ‘process of review of legislative and executive action by the judiciary.’ The primary purpose of Judiciary as an essential Organ of the State is to ensure that any legislative decisions or executive action does not exceed its applicability with respect to the constitutional validity of such decisions and actions. While explaining the scope of Judicial Review, the Supreme Court iterated that where an authority acts in a mala fide, arbitrary, or tenacious manner, or that the authority has intended to favour someone, the Constitutional Court would intervene to question such administrative action taken and accordingly take steps to rectify such action, if found violating basic constitutional principles.

The Supreme Court headed by a three judge bench comprising of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar , in the matter of Municipal Corporation, Ujjain vs. BVG India Limited elaborated on the scope of judicial review, with respect to acceptance and tender and award of contracts, as follows:

  • Under the scope of judicial review, the high court could not ordinarily interfere with the judgment of the expert consultant on the issues of technical qualifications of a bidder when the consultant takes into consideration various factors including the basis of non-performance of the bidder;
  • A bidder who submits a bid expressly declaring that it is submitting the same independently and without any partners, consortium or joint venture, cannot rely upon the technical qualifications of any 3rd Party for its qualification.
  • It is not open to the court to independently evaluate the technical bids and financial bids of the parties as an appellate authority for coming to its conclusion inasmuch as unless the thresholds of mala fides intention to favour someone or bias, arbitrariness, irrationality or perversity are met, where a decision is taken purely on public interest, the court ordinarily should exercise judicial restraint.

 

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Judgment: Municipal Corporation Ujjain and Other Vs BVG India Limited nad Others