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HC says PIL on 15 dam projects in Maha raises serious issue

Bombay High Court

Mumbai:  The Bombay High Court today refused to dismiss a PIL alleging irregularities in tendering process for 15 dam projects in Maharashtra and substandard construction in these projects, saying the issue was serious and monitoring was needed.

The court rejected applications of F A Enterprises and F A Constructions, against whom petitioners Mayank Gandhi, Anjali Damania and two others have sought an inquiry.

Senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing for the two firms, argued that the petition was not maintainable as the anti- corruption bureau had already initiated inquiry into the allegations. The PIL had been filed by private vested interests, he said.

Advocate General Anil Singh too sought dismissal, saying that the ACB had an initiated inquiry and submitted reports to the court, so a court monitoring was not needed.

The court, however, didn’t agree. “The present petition does not deal with the issue of Kondhane dam in Raigad district (in which ACB has initiated inquiry) but (it is) about 15 other dams,” it noted, pointing out that the PIL was filed in 2012 but the inquiry began only this year.

“This court will have to time and again look into the matter and (and into the) steps taken by the ACB. We do not think any prejudice would be caused if the petition is kept pending,” the court said, adding the seriousness of the issue raised by the PIL required it to be kept pending.

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