Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shah commission to conduct hearing on its jurisdiction

NGOs have said that MB Shah commission does not have jurisdiction to hear corruption cases

The Justice (retired) MB Shah Commission will hold the hearing regarding an application challenging its jurisdiction to hear the case of alleged corruption in allotment of land to industrial houses at throwaway rates by the state government. Meanwhile, the commission will also hear an application filed by a Kutch-based activist alleging corruption in allotment of land to Adani Group for its Mundra SEZ project.

Naran Gadhvi, a resident of Zarpara village in Mundra taluka, submitted an affidavit with the MB Shah Commission on Thursday alleging irregularities in allotment of land in and around Mundra to Adani group. He said that Adani was given thousands of acres of land by the government at throwaway price of Rs2 to 4 per sq m, while the company profited immensely by selling this land to other companies at Rs600-750 per sq m. 

Gadhvi said in his affidavit that government took back lease of salt pan owners and assigned the same to Adani Group for the project. Bhaskar Tanna, special counsel of government, said, “We received a copy of the representation made by Naran Gadhvi. The commission will hold a hearing in this regards tomorrow.”

During a hearing of the commission last week, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and Citizens For Democracy (CFD) alleged that the Commission does not have jurisdiction to hear corruption cases, and that it falls under the purview of the Lokayukta. The commission had asked the government to file a reply in the next hearing.