Bombay HC permits firm to amend plea to challenge nod to Adani for Dharavi redevelopment project, ET RealEstate

July 19, 2023

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday allowed Dubai-based Seclink Technology Corporation (STC) to amend its earlier pending plea and challenge a July 13 Maharashtra government resolution (GR) to award the Dharavi slum redevelopment project to the Adani group and the July 17 work order.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Arif Doctor posted the matter for hearing to August 7 asking STC to make the amendment in a week.

The state formally accepted through its July 13 GR, the investment offer of Rs 5,069 crore made by Adani Properties Pvt Ltd to redevelop the nearly 259-hectare slum—three-fourths the size of New York’s Central Park. It appointed Adani Properties as the lead partner in the project.

Senior counsel Milind Sathe with advocate Bhushan Deshmukh appearing for Dharavi Redevelopment project, Slum Rehabilitation Authority tendered the notification of appointment of the State to the bench and also the July 17 work order issued to the private entity.

Seclink through its counsel Abhinav Chandrachud said it wished to challenge the latest decision and would likely make the Adani group company, a party to the petition now.

Last November, Adani Properties had won the bid to redevelop the slum. As the State issued a formal notification to enable the Adani group to begin work on the project, an aggrieved STC approached the HC against the GR.

Seclink Technology Corporation, a Dubai-based firm had petitioned the HC saying a consortium led by it was the “rightful highest bidder’’ in the original 2018 tender, and that an October 2022 fresh tender where Adani group emerged as the highest bidder for the Dharavi redevelopment project was issued in a manner to oust it from competition.

On April 27, the high court had granted liberty to STC, which had challenged the 2022 SRA bids, to move the court in case the State government takes further steps.

The State contended before the HC that bidding process for the Dharavi redevelopment project was “fair, transparent and in public interest”. The SRA had said the current Eknath Shinde government issued a new tender last year as a fresh 45-acre plot of land was found in place of the railways plot and Adani qualified for the bid.

Seclink in a rejoinder, said the old tender process was “unlawfully cancelled on extraneous ground to award tender to H2 (Adani) in the old tender process.’’ State in a reply earlier had said there was “no concluded contract’’ in the earlier bidding process, hence petition by Seclink was clearly misconceived’’ as it wanted orders over a “non-existing contract” “misconceived’’. The new bid was approved in September 2022 “ in public interest “said the State.

Amendment to be carried out within one week from today and copy of the amended Petition to be served upon the other side. Reply to the amended Petition, if any, to be filed within one week thereafter. Stand over to 7 August 2023,” said the HC order on Tuesday.

  • Published On Jul 19, 2023 at 09:16 AM IST

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