SC rejects Maha plea to close Enron-Dabhol project case

SC rejects Maha plea to close Enron-Dabhol project case

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the Maharashtra government's plea to close the Enron-Dabhol power project case wherein it was alleged the money was paid to politicians and bureaucrats to clinch the deal.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna asked the state government to inform by March 13 about the steps taken on recommendations by the Energy Review Committee which had recommended a judicial probe into the entire Enron power project deal.

The court's query indicated its keenness to take issues of political corruption to logical end.

Notably, the committee headed by Dr Madhav Godbole upheld the allegations of money being paid by Enron to politicians and bureaucrats for clinching the deal. It was critical of then Congress leader and former chief minister Sharad Pawar, the 13-day BJP-led Union government which reworked the deal in 1996, then Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and his government in Maharashtra headed by Manohar Joshi.

As the US power company Enron pulled out of the Dabhol project and went bankrupt, the plant was shut in 2001.

The appeals were filed in the top court by the Centre for Indian Trade Union against the Bombay High Court's December 2, 1996, that dismissed the writ petition challenging the validity of power purchase agreement between the Maharashtra State Electricity Board and the Dabhol Power Company on November 8, 1993.