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HC directs DVAC to inquire bribery charges against minister

PTI 26 Apr 2016, 21:49:56 IST

Chennai: The Madras High Court today directed DVAC to conduct an inquiry against Power Minister Natham Viswanathan and some officials of TANGEDCO and file a status report on a complaint that the minister and others had received a bribe of Rs 525 crore for awarding contract to solar power producers for purchase of power. 

Justice P Devadoss directed DVAC to file the report before second week of June on a petition filed by one S P Sreenivas who alleged that the minister and some officials of public sector Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) awarded the contract after receiving the bribe. 

Sreenivas contended that when states like Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were purchasing solar power at the rate of Rs 5.01 per unit, TANGEDCO is purchasing it at the rate of Rs 7.01 per unit. 

"This is to favour the solar power generators", he contended. 

He contended that TANGEDCO should have challenged the order of Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission's April 1, 2015 order extending the validity period of purchase up to March 31, 2016 before appropriate forum to reduce the price. 

He submitted that a TNERC member Nagalsamy in his dissenting note on April 2015 had clearly stated that a loss to the tune of Rs 25,000 crores is being caused to TANGEDCO while purchasing the power at the rate of Rs 7.1 per unit. 

Negotiations should have been done with many solar power generators before entering an agreement to purchase power at the rate of Rs 7.01, he contended. 

He stated that Viswanathan had abused and misused his position as minister and utilised the officials of TANGEDCO to enter into agreement to purchase power at a higher rate and the officials have also colluded with him and conspired together to cause a loss of Rs 25,000 crore. 

Sreenivas submitted that he is approaching the High Court as so far no action had been taken to his complaint by DVAC on March one this year seeking to prosecute the offenders responsible for purchasing power at a higher rate.