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  Metros   Mumbai  10 Feb 2018  Detail Pawar’s role in irrigation work: Bombay HC

Detail Pawar’s role in irrigation work: Bombay HC

THE ASIAN AGE. | JOSEPH RAO
Published : Feb 10, 2018, 5:07 am IST
Updated : Feb 10, 2018, 5:08 am IST

The high court also expressed its displeasure over affidavit filed by ACB which was silent on the role of Pawar and Bajoria.

Ajit Pawar
 Ajit Pawar

Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has asked the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the state government to specify the role of former water resources minister Ajit Pawar in the Waghadi irrigation project.

A division bench comprising of Justice Bhus-han Dharmadhikari and Justice Swapna Joshi, while hearing a petition, directed the state government and ACB to spell out role played by Mr Pawar, who was also deputy chief minister in the previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party regime, in awarding tender to his close aide and former MLC Sandip Bajoria and place it before the court in two weeks. Virtually rejecting a clean chit argument forwarded by Mr Pawar since last many hearings, the HC made it clear that it would like to wait for the state government’s answer and also from ACB before passing any further order.

 

The petitioner had alleged that Raigad river project at Chandur Railway, Waghadi irrigation project in Daryapur (Amravati), Jigaon and Lower Pedhi works were awarded to a firm controlled by Bajoria on the basis of bogus documents revealing violation of norms by the authorities due to his proximity to Mr Pawar.

The petitioner had produced on record documents procured under the RTI indicating that then WRD minister and the then WRD secretary had granted approval to whopping cost escalation in their capacity as chairman and managing director of the VIDC and not as minister and secretary respectively, and no concurrence from the finance department was obtained.

 

The cost of the Jigaon project rose to mind-boggling Rs 5,700 crore from Rs 394 crore in 15 years. Even the mandatory permission from the state cabinet was not obtained and no scrutiny was allowed at the inter departmental level there by facilitating massive loot of public money, the petition claimed while blaming Pawar and Bajoria for forging an unholy alliance throwing all norms to the wind.

Taking the allegation levelled by the petitioner about laxity towards Pawar and Bajoria by the ACB so far very seriously the court while hearing the petitioner Atul Jagtap alleged that Bajoria’s firms bagged contracts for projects by questionable methods, warned that it would not spare any investigating officer, found wanting in conducting proper investigation and finding out role of each person,how so ever mighty, in facilitating alleged irregularity. The high court also sought to know, the details of documents handled by probe officer along with details like time taken to study, probe and outcome of such probe.

 

The high court also expressed its displeasure over affidavit filed by ACB which was silent on the role of Pawar and Bajoria.

Tags: bombay high court, atul jagtap