The Delhi High Court has decided to issue directions in the case of the question over the blacklisting of the defense company, Singapore Technologies Kinetics. The Singapore-based company had petitioned the court early this year asking for a decision on its status.
The company had filed petitions with respect to three tenders to which which it was either not invited or has had its competition effectively suspended following recommendations to blacklist the company, as a result of the allegations of corruption raised against Sudipta Ghosh, former Director General Ordnance Factories and Chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board.
Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued an order listing the matter for directions in Februrary 2012, after observing, “The hearing qua the issue of black-listing of the petitioner was concluded on 18.05.2011. Despite this, we are still informed that the final order qua the issue of black-listing of the petitioner has still not been issued.”
Earlier this year, the court said, “It is made clear that the petitioner will be permitted to join the tendering process, if the petitioner ultimately succeeds in the petition. We consider appropriate to direct that though the respondents can proceed with the process of the tender, the tender will not be awarded without leave and liberty of the court.” Additional Solicitor General of India, Amarjeet Singh Chandhiok had told the court at the time that ‘there is no possibility of the tendering process being completed in the near future’.
Another bench of the High Court had asked the government on March 15, 2011 to clarify the status of the petitioner as blacklisted or otherwise. “What is the status of the petitioner in the eyes of the respondents pertaining to procurement of 400 units of 155mm/52 Calibre Towed Guns, 155mm/39 Calibre Ultra Light Howitzer Guns and quantity 43,318 Close Quarter Carbine (CQB) with day and night sights and quantity 3,33,11,500 rounds of ammunition with transfer of technology (TOT),” asked the court.
The company was in the running to supply several pieces of equipment to India, including 155 mm/52 caliber Towed Artillery Guns and 155 mm/39 Caliber Ultra Light Howitzers to the Indian Army and Close Quarter Battle Carbines (CQB) for Indian paramilitary forces.