Monday, July 30, 2007

BMIC: a saga of legal roadblocks

BMIC: a saga of legal roadblocks

Bangalore: The state’s ‘escape hatch’ of the Swiss Challenge method is the latest in a long legal tangle: if the government is keen to stop the project, implementation company Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) is equally committed in going ahead.
The state’s additional affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Saturday tries to eliminate NICE from implementing any further the BMIC project. Instead, a new company, Global Infrastructure Consortium (GIC) is to complete it. This fresh development appears to be a cover-up for any possible rebuke from the apex court. The apex court, in April 2006, passed strictures against the state and had ordered it to provide all requirements to expedite BMIC.
Why the contempt petition:
Despite the apex court order, nothing much happened for a very long time. Result: NICE filed a contempt petition before the SC demanding implementation of the April 2006 order, particularly with respect to land. “No effort has been made by the government to remove obstacles faced by the company in implementing the project,’’ a NICE representative told The Times of India.
Even the apex court judgement came after a Karnataka High Court order of May 3, 2005, upholding the NICE case. The SC on April 20, 2006, dismissed the government’s petition against the high court order, paving way for NICE to go ahead with the project.
New deal: The new deal between the government and GIC was struck when the latter wrote to public works minister H D Revanna on July 6, offering to take up the project. However, coalition partner BJP is clueless on these developments. When contacted, deputy CM B S Yediyurappa said: “I don’t know anything about this affidavit.’’
What SC order said: A Bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal, Justice B N Srikrishna and Justice Dalveer Bhandari dismissed the government’s petition and cleared the Rs 2,250 crore four-lane expressway. It said: “The government appeal was with mala fide intention.”
It also imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on the government for bringing before it “frivolous arguments.’’


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