HC notice to MSMC chairman on petition

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Nagpur, Nov 1 (UNI) A petition filed before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has alleged that Maharashtra State Mining Corporation (MSMC) Chairman and former MLA Avinash Warjukar demanded Rs one crore for allotment of coal blocks to a private firm.

The petitioner, Tejpalsingh Gurcharansingh Arora, Managing Director of Baba Nanak Sars Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, has claimed that he had an audio recording of the conversation in which Mr Warjukar allegedly demanded the money. Mr Arora has also submitted before the Division Bench of Justice A H Joshi and Justice R C Chavan what he claims to be a transcript of the alleged conversations between him and Mr Warjukar. In later conversations, Mr Warjukar reduced the demand, first to Rs 50 lakh and then to Rs 30 lakh, he alleged.

The bench has issued notice before admission to the respondents, MSMC, Mr Warjukar and the State of Maharashtra through the Secretary, Department of Industry, which are returnable on December 7.

The petition alleged that the MSMC chairman also demanded Rs 10 per tonne of coal for allotment of coal blocks in various mines for merchandise mining and supply to small-scale industries.

The firm said it should be allotted the blocks since it was the highest bidder. The coal blocks are among the 27 under the State Dispensation Scheme for captive use by power, steel and cement units.

Incidentally, the same bench had in September last ordered the recovery from Mr Warjukar of the expenses incurred on the construction of an approach road through the forest area to his farmhouse in Chandrapur district in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

Justice Joshi and Justice Chavan had also ordered the road to be closed immediately. The directives had come in response to a writ petition challenging the extension of an existing road to Mr Warjukar's farmhouse by spending public money. Mr Warjukar was a member of the state legislative assembly from Chimur in the district when the extension was done.

UNI

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