Millennium Post

Supreme court closes case of corruption due to long delay

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday brought down the curtain on the case of alleged corruption involving politicians, bureaucrats and corporates in the Enron-Dabhol power project, saying that "long delay" of over 25 years, will serve no "useful purpose" in continuing with the judicial commission of inquiry.

The top court was faced with the sole question as to whether the judicial commission of inquiry, which was set up on November 7, 2001 under the chairmanship of former apex court judge S P Kurdukar, should continue with the probe to ascertain culpability of various public servants in the 1993 case. "In view of the long delay and in view of the fact that due to non- availability of many persons involved, no useful purpose would be served in continuing with the judicial commission of inquiry, we close the petition in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case," said a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. The plea for judicial inquiry was raised before the apex court in view of the findings of a committee headed by Mahdav Godbole, former Home Secretary. The Godbole Committee, in its report to theMaharashtra government in 2001, had indicated serious illegalities in the matter of award of the contract and processing of approvals, which were prima facie against public interest.

It said that "failure of governance" was "broad and across different governments and at both administrative and political levels".

According to the suggestion of the Godbole Committee, a one-man enquiry commission headed by Justice Kurdukar was appointed. The report had dealt with handling of the issues during the tenure of Sharad Pawar as the CM when he was in Congress Party, the 13-day-long BJP-led Union government which had reworked the deal in 1996.

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