Allowing an appeal in Union of India & Anr v HBL Nife Power Systems Ltd, the Supreme Court recently approved the government policy of not requiring public tenders for the purchase of strategically and critically important parts for defence equipment. The court held that there cannot be open advertisements inviting tenders for critical spare parts like submarine batteries used by the Indian navy.
HBL Nife Power Systems, a battery manufacturer, wanted to supply submarine batteries to the navy, but could not obtain a request for proposal from the Ministry of Defence. This prompted the company to file a writ petition before Delhi High Court that was dismissed by a single judge but allowed by a division bench, which directed the government to invite tenders for the submarine batteries.
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