Amaravati: Justice B Siva Sankara Rao of the Andhra Pradesh High Court was appointed by the State Government as the head of the State Judicial Commission to scrutinise public tenders for all infrastructure works of Rs 100 crore or more before awarding contracts.

Term Of Office

The term of office will be for three years from the date of Justice B Siva Sankara Rao assuming office as per a GO issued to this effect by the State Principal Secretary (Infrastructure, Investments and Industry Department) Rajat Bhargava on Wednesday.

The appointment has been made on the recommendation of the High Court acting Chief Justice C Praveen Kumar in line with the AP Infrastructure (Transparency through Judicial Preview) Act, 2019, that mandates putting any government tender for infrastructure works of Rs 100 crore and more for judicial scrutiny before awarding the contracts.

Purview of the Commission

In all 25 sectors like roads and bridges, urban development (including smart cities), health, ports, airports, water supply, inland water transport, telecommunications, highways and power, including projects under public-private partnership initiative, would be covered under the new law.

State Judicial Commission Functioning

Tender norms and specifications related to infrastructure works would be first referred to the judge, who would in turn place them in public domain for seeking objections and suggestions in seven days.

The committee will review all projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects to ensure conformity in procedure rules and guidelines.

The government will place all documents related to the project before the panel. The committee will put the tender related documents in public domain for a week and invite suggestions.

After that, the judge, with the aid of technical experts, would scrutinise the tender norms after looking into the objections and suggestions and suggest modifications, if any, to the government.

After preview and discussions, the judge may suggest modifications which will be binding on the government.

Judge's recommendations binding

The judge's recommendations would be binding on the government, according to the legislation enacted in the Legislature during the Budget session on July 26.

While anything done under the new legislation could not be challenged in court, the Act says, "It shall be open to the judge to devise an appropriate procedure or mechanism to deal with scurrilous or malicious attempts to obstruct the process of preview or thereafter.

GO MS No 76 appointing Head of State Judicial Commission
GO MS No 76 appointing Head of State Judicial Commission

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had said during a debate on the Bill in the AP Assembly that the move would do away with the image of corruption the state had acquired because of the actions of the previous government. ( With inputs from PTI and IANS)

Also Read: Judicial Preview Bill Passed, Corruption Free Governance Taking Shapeand IANS