Kochi: The High Court Wednesday said the decision of the state-owned Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd to award a Rs 12 crore contract for excavation and transportation of mineral sand was 'illegal and arbitrary'.
The award of contract to PVK constructions was 'arbitrary, unreasonable and with malicious intentions', a Division Bench, comprising Justice K T Shankaran and Justice M L Joseph, Francies said.
The firm to which the contract was awarded is controlled by one of the employees of the KMML.
The bench found that the award of the contract was to favour him and procedures were not followed by the management.
"KMML did not adhere to tender conditions. Intending tenderers were denied an opportunity to participate in the tender and to submit tender forms," the bench held.
"It would appear that KMML was not interested in getting maximum number of bids so that the contract could be awarded at a reasonable rate," the court said.
They were interested in choosing the existing contractor, even though the rates quoted were very high when compared to the previous year.
The court allowed the application filed by two contractors challenging the tender proceedings.