Shapoorji Pallonji Group Alleges Irregularities In Tatas Bagging Parliament Project Bid
Opening a new front against the Tatas, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group has alleged irregularities and conflict of interest in Tata Projects Ltd.'s winning bid to construct the new Parliament building but the allegations have so far not found much favour with the concerned government department, sources said.
In yet another flare up in the ongoing war between the Tatas and the SP Group since the sacking of Cyrus Mistry as the chairman of Tata Sons in October 2016, the Mistry family group has written letters to the Central Public Works Department alleging that the participation of both Tata Projects Ltd. and Tata Consulting Engineers in the process was a violation of the Central Vigilance Commission rules.
Moreover, the pre-qualification bid criteria was tweaked so as to make it possible for TPL to take part in the bidding process, the SP Group has claimed.
However, sources said the allegations of the SP Group have been rejected in a letter by the CPWD.
When contacted, both SP Group and Tata Projects Ltd. declined to comment. CPWD also did not comment on the matter.
In September this year, Tata Projects Ltd. won the bid to construct a new Parliament building at a cost of Rs 861.90 crore ahead of L&T Ltd. which had submitted a bid of Rs 865 crore.
Out of seven companies shortlisted, only three -- Tata Projects, L&T and SP Group -- were selected for the final round of bidding.
According to sources, SP Group did not participate in the final tendering process.
The new Parliament building will be constructed close to the existing one under the Central Vista redevelopment project, and it is expected to be completed in 21 months.
As per the CPWD, the new building will come up at plot number 118 of the Parliament House Estate and the existing Parliament building will continue to function during the entire period of execution of the project.
Also read: Tata - Mistry: The Beginning Of The End?
In its ongoing battle with the Tatas, last month the SP Group, the largest minority shareholder in Tata Sons with 18.37% stake, said it was "time to separate from Tata" and end a relationship that has spanned over 70 years.
Tata Sons is the holding company of the over $100 billion conglomerate Tata Group. It had objected to the SP Group's plans to raise funds by pledging shares of Tata Sons.
The Mistry family, however had stated that it was "in the midst of raising funds against the security of their personal assets to meet the crisis arising from the global pandemic".
The Mistry family-led group had alleged that Tata Sons "amplified its institutional efforts to suppress and inflict irreparable harm on the SP Group, in the midst of a global crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic".