The power department has submitted a proposal to the state government to forfeit Rs 280 crore upfront premium paid by Brakel Corporation NV,apart from claiming Rs 1,365 crore as damages from the Dutch company for causing loss to the state exchequer for the much-delayed Jangi Thopan Pawari hydel project in Kinnaur.
However,even as the 960 MW project has been cleared for fresh bidding,Adani Power the Gujarat-based power giant is lobbying for the return of the premium money that Brakel Corporation had paid to the government in two instalments between 2008 and 2010.
The allotment of the project was quashed by the Himachal Pradesh High Court in 2009 as illegal and arbitrary. The court had also severely indicted Brakel for defrauding the government. After the state cabinet decided to go in for fresh re-bidding for the project in April,the power department drew up a detailed proposal to initiate penal action against the firm and send a legal notice seeking damages to the tune of Rs 1,365 crore,as well as forfeit the upfront premium money.
Principal secretary (Power) S K B S Negi confirmed that the department had sent the proposal to the government. However,even before the proposal has been considered by the cabinet,Adani is seeking the return of the premium amount. Adani had shelled out the money for Brakel in return for partner status in the project.
In its written to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on August 24,Adani claimed it was an innocent and bonafide investor that had joined hands with Brakel corporation for execution of the project. The company blamed the state for not taking any firm decision regarding the project,which was hanging fire between 2006 to 2009 until the High Court finally quashed the allotment.