Adani row: In the latest development to the ongoing Adani row, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday rejected a plea for a fast-track basis hearing of the PIL against the installation of high-tension electricity lines by an Adani Group-owned power plant at Farakka in Murshidabad district. According to the information, the PIL was filed by the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and 30 fruit farmers in the Farakka region.
The Adani Group-owned power station was the target of the petition because it planned to build high-tension electricity lines through agricultural land in the area as part of a project that would connect Godda district in Jharkhand with Bangladesh.
Petitioners sought for fast-track basis hearing
Further, petitioners sought for a fast-track basis hearing in view of the interest of the fruit farmers. However, on Tuesday, the division bench, comprising of Calcutta High Court's Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj, rejected the plea.
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Justice Srivastava also observed that since the objections on this count were made much later after the project work started, there is no necessity for fast- track basis hearing. "A delay of just seven days will not make any difference," he contended, as per IANS.
The division bench also ordered all concerned related to the project should be included as parties to the PIL. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for February 20.
What petitioners contended?
The petitioners have stated in the PIL that since the majority of the people in the area through which the high-tension electricity lines will pass are dependent on mango and lychee farming, the overhead lines will impact their livelihood. They have claimed that these overhead high-tension electricity lines are passing over the mango and lychee gardens and hence their location should be replaced with alternative areas.
It should be noted here that the fraud allegation has triggered a rout in Adani group company stocks. The rout has also threatened the value of investments made by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and public sector banks. Adani group stocks, where LIC is heavily invested, have lost over USD 100 billion in value since a tiny New York short seller came out with a damning report alleging financial and accounting fraud by the ports-to-energy conglomerate.
(With inputs from IANS)