July 20, 2018 4:56:13 am
The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, which is monitoring the investigation of the alleged irrigation scam in Vidarbha, proposed to set up a committee to look into the possible ways of recovering the loss to public exchequer from the officials concerned.
The various PILs seeking quicker investigation into the alleged scam came up for hearing on Thursday. The Director General of Police (Anti-Corruption) filed an affidavit delineating the progress of investigation in the 43 cases under scanner.
The affidavit said 19 FIRs had so far been registered and chargesheets were filed in three cases. It added that five chargesheets had been awaiting government nod.
The bench, however, continued to express its anguish saying the investigating authorities had been “taking us for a ride”.
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The bench, comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Zaka Haq, continued to express dissatisfaction at the “slow progress” of investigation and had directed that the government must grant nod to the pending chargesheets within a week as per law.
It added that the government must hold day-to-day hearings in one of the special ACB courts, by earmarking the court exclusively for hearing the irrigation cases. The court did not mention about its earlier idea of constituting a two-member panel of retired High Court judges for day-to-day monitoring of the probe. It, however, said it would deal with the petitions next on July 25 and would discuss the possibility of setting up a committee, which would look into the reasons for delay in investigations.
The committee will have the power to summon officials and even politicians, if need be, the court said. The court also said it would deliberate upon how the loss of several hundreds of crores of rupees to the state exchequer could be recovered from the staffers of irrigation department.
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