High Court stays BTCL bidding for seven days


The High Court yesterday stayed a procurement plan by Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd for seven days, after an aggrieved bidder filed a writ petition alleging the state-run company disobeyed a decision by the purchase review panel.

BTCL sought bids for the job of building an optical fibre transmission network.

The court has issued the rule against BTCL asking why it did not follow the decision of the review panel, said Barrister Rumeen Farhana, a lawyer for the writ petitioner.

BTCL will have to respond in seven days. The bidding process will be on hold until then, she added.

The aggrieved bidder Istanbul-based Nortel Networks' Netas Telekomunikasyon filed the writ petition with the High Court on Tuesday.

Netas took part in the pre-qualification bid, but BTCL had disqualified the firm saying it did not submit appropriate documents. BTCL moved on with two other bidders, KT Corporation of Korea and NEC Corporation of Japan, ignoring the decision by a review panel that allowed Netas's bid.

The quasi-judiciary panel that reviews all public purchases on the basis of any complaint ordered that BTCL allows Netas to take part in the tender on March 18.

Netas complained to the review panel against BTCL's decision after it was removed from a pre-qualification evaluation.

The panel, after a hearing, said the removal of Netas from the pre-qualification bid was illogical and unilateral. It further alleged that BTCL's conduct during evaluation was improper.

BTCL opened the financial offers on May 3, more than 40 days after the review panel's verdict.

BTCL disobeyed the telecoms ministry and its own board as well.

The ministry ordered BTCL to follow the review panel's decision on March 18, while the BTCL board directed the same on March 21.


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