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Rejection of bid to result in delay: Delhi HC directs Delhi govt to negotiate with insurance cos to implement CM Advocates Welfare Scheme

The order was passed in the petition filed by Bar Council of Delhi concerning the implementation of the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today directed a 'Technical Evaluation Committee' under the Delhi government to hold negotiations with three companies, The New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance, for the purposes of issuing group medi-claim policies for Delhi advocates under the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.

For the purpose of granting life insurance, the Court has directed the Committee to hold talks with Life Insurance Corporation of India and finalize the terms of the policy.

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh in the petition filed by Bar Council of Delhi (BCD) concerning the implementation of the CM Advocates' Welfare Scheme.

Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev and BCD Chairman KC Mittal appeared for Bar Council of Delhi.

Pursuant to the order passed by the Court, tender notice was issued by the Delhi Government for procuring the insurance schemes for lawyers.

In its status report filed before the Court, the Delhi Government today informed that although three insurance companies i.e. The New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance submitted their bids for group medi-claim pursuant to the tender, it was found that they were not qualified in terms of the notice inviting tender.

These insurance companies had failed to produce documents with respect to their experience and Rs 35 lakh security amount.

For life insurance, only one company i.e. LIC came forward with the bid and thus, the bid was not "technically qualified", the Court was informed.

Rasing concerns of delay and in view of the fact that all applicant companies had a high standing in the market, BCD urged the Court to direct Delhi Government to go ahead with the process in spite of technical shortfalls.

The Court also agreed with the submissions made by BCD and stated,

..the Court is of the opinion that rejection of bid would result in further delay in (implementing) the scheme.. Considering the pandemic, the timely issuance of policy is important. Same has to bear fruition and cannot be allowed to be redered ineffective.

The Court thus took "judicial notice" of the standing of all the insurance companies in question and ordered The New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance to appear before the Technical Evaluation Committee on the designated date and time.

The Court directed the Technical Evaluation Committee to conduct negotiations within the "broad parameters of the notice inviting tender", except for the two conditions pertaining to experience documents and security amount.

The Techincal Evaluation Committee may choose the bid of any one insurance company or divide it amongst two or more parties, the Court said.

The Court also asked the Technical Evaluation Committee to consider LIC's stand that it would not be extending life insurance policies to those who are above the age of 74 years while finalizing terms of the policy.

After the decision of the Technical Evaluation Committee is approved by the Cabinet of the Delhi Government, the Court has ordered that the same be placed before it.

Delhi Government was represented by Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar and Additional Standing Counsel Stayakam.

The matter would be heard next on August 28.

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