Court pulls up Himachal government on power projects

June 4th, 2008 - 12:03 am ICT by IANS  

Shimla, June 3 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh High Court Tuesday frowned on the vigilance probe ordered by the state government against Dutch company Brakel Corporation, which has been allotted two hydropower projects in the state, despite the matter pending in court. A division bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Bhalla and judge Rajiv Sharma directed the chief secretary to file an affidavit within four weeks on the government’s decision to initiate the probe.

“When an affidavit was filed by the government supporting the allotment decision and praying for dismissal of the Reliance Energy petition, then why is it getting enquiries made through vigilance and income tax authorities against the Brakel group?” the bench asked.

When asked to clarify the government’s stand, the advocate general said: “So far as the petition is concerned, the state is opposing it as the petitioner (Reliance Energy) has no locus to file this petition”.

The court then observed there must be consistency in the government’s actions.

The government, in its reply filed in the high court on April 29, denied the allegations of favouritism and said the interests of the state had been given utmost importance while allotting the power projects to Brakel.

Reliance Energy has alleged the state government had granted favours to Brakel in allotting it the Thopan-Powari and Jangi-Thopan hydropower projects.

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