Bring all files about discreet probe on expressway toll: HC to State govt

PTI
Thursday, 7 June 2018

According to the petition, the contractor has already recovered the cost of the project as per its agreement details with the state authorities and despite that it continues to collect toll, thereby making a "wrongful gain".

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to produce before it files pertaining to a discreet inquiry conducted by it into a complaint alleging irregularities in the collection of toll on the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by four activists seeking that the right of the contractor Mhaiskar Infrastructure Pvt Ltd to collect toll along the expressway be revoked.

According to the petition, the contractor has already recovered the cost of the project as per its agreement details with the state authorities and despite that it continues to collect toll, thereby making a "wrongful gain".

Last July, the state government had informed the high court that the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has initiated a discreet inquiry into the allegations.

Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani today submitted a one-page document giving details of the inquiry to the bench.

However, after perusing the document the bench said it was vague.

"We want more details of the inquiry carried out. Bring all the files and documents pertaining to the inquiry along with a report," Justice Oka said.

The bench posted the petition for further hearing on June 19.

According to the plea, the contractor has recovered Rs 2,869 crore that it was entitled to and was now making wrongful gains by continuing to collect toll.

In March 2017, the petitioners complained to the ACB to initiate action against public servants involved individually and collectively for failing to revoke the contractor's right to collect toll even after the completion of contracted toll income, resulting in wrongful pecuniary gain to it.

When the ACB did not take any action, the activists petitioned the high court.

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