HC sends notice to TN govt over illegalities in school tenders

Chennai: The Madras High Court has ordered notice to the Tamilnadu government on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition alleging illegalities in two tenders totally worth Rs 520 crore for setting up smart classrooms and information and communication technology labs in government schools in the state.

A Division Bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice P Rajamanickam also directed the school education department and the Tamilnadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation to file their response by 8 January to the PIL which sought to quash the tender process.

According to petitioner Periasamy Pachamuthu Perama, the two tenders had been floated – one for smart classrooms in 3,000 primary and middle schools in rural areas and the other for hi-tech labs in 3,090 high schools and 2,939 higher secondary schools.

He alleged that the tenders were finalised by the authorities without involving the specific committees formed to govern the tenders.

Though there were guidelines issued by the Central Vigilance Commission with regard to preparation of the tender condition, the norms were not followed, he claimed. The petitioner wanted the court to stay the operation of the tender notification till final disposal of the plea.