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Thursday, November 3, 2016

GeM complies with laws, CVC circulars: Govt to HC

New Delhi, Nov 2 (PTI) Government today told Delhi High Court that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a pilot project for public servants for procuring office supplies, was in compliance with all laws and circular of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and there was no irregularity in it.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini was informed by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain that the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D), which has been tasked to run the website, has given a detailed reply to the representation given by petitioner, an NGO which had alleged corruption in the operation of the portal.

The ASG contended that DGS&D had replied to the October 15 representation by the Maulik Bharat Trust on October 28.

After hearing the submission, the bench asked the advocate appearing for the petitioner to file a fresh petition if they had any grievances on the reply by DGS&D.

"Now, there is a response (from DGS&D). You can file a fresh petition," the bench said.

However, petitioner's counsel Archana Pathak Dave claimed that DGS&D was not complying with CVC circulars.

To this, the bench said, "Without anything in pleadings, why should we hear you? You can file a fresh writ petition. We are not saying anything on the merits. Now there is a reply which has been communicated to you".

"If you have any grievances, you can file a fresh petition with proper pleadings. Do not get so excited. This is a public interest litigation," the bench said.

In the petition, the trust has alleged that due to illegal actions of certain individuals in DGS&D, products were being bought on GeM at prices which are in excess of the prescribed rates.

It was alleged in the petition that this was causing a loss of over Rs 2,500 crore to the public exchequer and amounted to "corruption of the highest order and denial of human rights".

The petitioner has claimed that some people "with vested interests have acted in complete violation of the mandate being provided to them and thereby have been running GeM without complying with the mandatory statutory law, rules, DGS&D manual and circulars of CVC".

The plea had said that the Committee of Secretaries (Cos) has given sanction for pilot project of GeM on March 10.

The PIL had said that the deficiencies in GeM need to be studied and improved before it is developed as a full fledged platform.

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