Apologise in 48 hrs or face consequences; HMDA legal notice to Revanth Reddy
Reacting to the accusations of favouritism in the ORR tenders, the HMDA served a legal notice on TPCC President Revanth Reddy demanding his unconditional apology within 48 hours
Telangana PCC president A Revanth Reddy
HYDERABAD: Reacting sharply to the accusations of favouritism in the Outer Ring Road (ORR) tenders, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has served a legal notice on Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Anumula Revanth Reddy demanding his unconditional apology within 48 hours or face legal consequences.
The notice, dated May 25, 2023 and served through the HMDA’s legal consultant ‘Access Legal’, asked the Malkajgiri MP to express his remorse unconditionally in public and within 48 hours for his “false and defamatory statements on the tenders for the ORR lease.” He was also asked to cease and desist from similar baseless and outlandish remarks.
Revanth Reddy caused flutter recently when he accused the HMDA of favouring IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited in the tenders for the ORR lease. He further alleged that the project work, which he claimed was easily worth more than Rs 1 lakh crores, was gifted to the company for a mere Rs 7,388 crores.
Going one step further, the TPCC chief threatened, two days ago, to lay siege to the HMDA office if the authority failed to answer the questions raised by him.
Deciding to put its foot down, the HMDA warned the politician with severe legal consequences if he failed to tender a public apology within 48 hours. Setting the record straight, the authority stated in the notice that IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited had emerged as the successful bidder in the tender process. It also clarified that the Telangana Government endeavoured to monetise the ORR through the Toll-Operate-Transfer model which was taken up in a fair, lawful and transparent manner. It further said that the process to generate revenues was done on similar lines adopted by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The authority also refuted the claim that the terms of RFP or the tender/bid document prescribe the requirement or the contractual obligation for IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited, the successful bidder, to make any advance payment prior to the conclusion of contract.
“Pursuant to the scrutiny, our client (HMDA) had issued a Letter of Award dated 27.04.2023 and called upon the successful bidder to comply with the requirements mentioned therein in accordance with the tender document within a period of 30 days from the Letter of Award. It is pertinent to mention here that neither the terms of RFP nor Tender/Bid Document prescribe any requirement whereby the successful bidder i.c., IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited is contractually obligated to make any advance payments prior to conclusion of contract.
“That as per the procedure contemplated, all such payments would have to be made pursuant to execution of Concession Agreement. In fact, as per the terms of the Concession Agreement the concessionaire is required to pay the bid amount/concession fee within 120 days from the date of execution of Concession Agreement. Therefore, any obligations towards payment of concession fee would ensue pursuant to conclusion and execution of Concession Agreement between our client and concessionaire. In the present matter, since the Concession Agreement is yet to be concluded the concessionaire is not liable to make any payments to our client at present juncture and IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited shall be liable to make such payments only after execution of Concession Agreement.
“It is pertinent to mention here that tender document, RFP and Standard Concession Agreement are public documents and are accessible to general public and are therefore a part of public domain. Therefore, any citizen or entity can verify the documents to ensure that the bidding process is being undertaken in a fair and unbiased manner.
“It is amply clear that allegations with respect to non-payment of fee is premature and in fact premeditated only to malign our clients with an intention to raise false alarm within the general public,” the the legal notice said.
Revanth Reddy also alleged that IRB Infrastructure Developers not only failed to pay the 10 percent amount but even sought extension of time for the purpose. In response to this, the notice said, “The HDMA has not received any requests for extension of time from the concessionaire and no such extension of time was granted.”
The HMDA notice also dubbed Revanth Reddy’s statements as ‘patently false and clearly reek of malice’.
The legal notice said that, if Revanth Reddy failed to offer an unconditional apology in public within 48 hours from the receipt of the notice and ‘cease and desist from actions to defame the HMDA with false remarks and statements’, it would result in appropriate legal actions, both under the civil and criminal laws.