Friday, January 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Legal wrangle stalls on-line lottery
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The road to on-line lottery in Haryana seems to have developed potholes. The state government had to reinvite tenders for its plan to start an on-line lottery after the first call failed to evoke an encouraging response.

Informed sources say five parties applied when the government again invited the tenders. However, before the State Lotteries Department could open the technical and financial bids, Wilsat, an Essar Group company, moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which has asked the department not to open the bids till a final decision on the petition.

Now the court has reserved its judgement on the petition moved by the Essar Group, which had applied in response to the first invitation.

The five parties which have responded to the second tender are Orbit Consortium, Kenstar of the Videocon Group, Widescreen of the Zee Group, Wilsat of the Essar Group, and Infotech-2000 of the Ispat Group. While Orbit Consortium, Widescreen and Wilsat had applied in response to the first notice inviting tender(NIT) also, Kenstar and Infotech-2000 are the new entrants.

Orbit Consortium could not qualify because its net worth was less than Rs 50 crore as stipulated in the NIT. Since the technical bids received in response to the second NIT are yet to be opened, it is not known who are the new members of the consortium. The Zee Group had given a conditional offer, which was not acceptable to the government. This had left the Essar Group as the lone player in the field.

However, the sources say, the government did not accept the offer of the Essar Group because it was willing to pay only Rs 10 crore each for the first two years. It had guaranteed Rs 200 crore for the third year and Rs 100 crore each for the subsequent years. The offer of Rs 10 crore each for the first two years was found by the government much below what even small states like Sikkim could get.

The Essar Group, the sources say, moved the court on the plea that since it was the only eligible contender for the scheme, the Haryana Government should have given the contract to it. The government pleaded that it should be allowed to open the technical and financial bids received in response to the second NIT. The claim of Essar Group would also be considered along with the other parties. Moreover, the fact that the Essar Group had again responded to the fresh NIT, indicated that it had virtually accepted the government’s decision to reject all offers received in response to the first NIT.

The court, however, did not agree with the government’s plea. It asked the government not to open the bids. Meanwhile, the judgement has been reserved by a Bench headed by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |