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No reprieve for Pawar in irrigation scam

THE ASIAN AGE. | JOSEPH RAO
Published : Nov 3, 2017, 1:53 am IST
Updated : Nov 3, 2017, 1:53 am IST

The HC issued these directives while hearing Jagtap's PIL through his counsel Shridhar Purohit.

Ajit Pawar
 Ajit Pawar

Nagpur: In a major blow to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, Ajit Pawar, the Bombay high court has refused to strike off his name from the irrigation scam probe.

The HC is also not happy with the progress in the ongoing probe into the alleged irrigation scam that took place during the previous Congress-NCP regime. The Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC has expressed its anguish at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)'s failure to complete the investigation and has granted it a last chance to complete the probe within four weeks. A division bench comprising Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi has asked the ACB to inform the court about the status of the inquiry. The ACB director-general was told to file a detailed affidavit personally and not through subordinates.

The court also granted the petitioner Atul Jagtap the liberty to lodge a police complaint against the accused persons at the concerned police stations. The projects under the scanner include Jigaon in Buldana, Lower Pedhi in Amravati, Raigad Barrage near Chandur Railway and Waghadi in Yavatmal.

The HC issued these directives while hearing Jagtap's PIL through his counsel Shridhar Purohit. The petition alleged that Bajoriya Construction Company headed by ex-MLC Sandeep Bajoriya from Yavatmal was awarded the contracts for all these projects. It also alleged that Bajoriya got the contracts at the behest of Pawar, who was the irrigation minister during the Congress-NCP regime.

In the previous hearing, Mr Pawar had filed an application through senior counsel Mohan Bhangde and Shyam Dewani for the deletion of his name, contending that he had no role to play in the award of contracts and there were no specific allegations against him.

The judges refused to grant any immediate relief to Mr Pawar and stated that his contentions would be heard at length during the course of the hearing.

Tags: nationalist congress party, bombay high court, ajit pawar