The judgment revolves around the question of whether the International Airport Authority is “State” under Article 12 of the Constitution and the validity of a tender accepted by the respondents.
The International Airport Authority called for tenders to put up a second-class restaurant and two Snack bars at the International Airport Bombay. The tender of the 4th respondent was accepted by the authorities; however it was later found that he did not satisfy the condition of having at least 5 years’ experience as a registered second class hotelier as mentioned in the tender invitation. Therefore, the Airport authorities called the 4th respondent to submit his documents and evidence for reconsideration. However, his tender was reconfirmed as he had sufficient experience with reputed clients though not a registered as a second-class hotelier. The appellant who desired to offer his quotation to the tender dropped his thoughtas he did not fulfil certain conditions as mentioned in the invitation of the Airport authorities. Upon hearing that, the 4th respondent was a successful bidder despite of him not fulfilling the required conditions, the appellant filed a case before Bombay the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution but the case was dismissed. Therefore, he appealed to the SC under Article 136 of the Constitution.
The Indian Constitution:
The petitioner contended that,
The respondents contended that,
Upon hearing the parties to the case, the Court held that, the first question to be considered is whether the respondent is State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution. This question comes into picture to determine the maintainability of the petition, as a remedy for fundamental right violation can be claimed only against the State and not private authority. The Court upon verifying the International Airport Authority Act, 1971was clarified that, the Central government exercises deep and pervasive control over the administrative affairs of the respondent therefore it is State within the ambit of Article 12 of the Constitution.
Moving on with the validity of the concluded tender, the Court held that it was a clear violation of equality under Article 14. The Court justified its stand on the following grounds:
Hence the concluded tender was invalid.