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Court notice to centre, Delhi airport consortium

New Delhi,Business/Economy,Immigration/Law/Rights, Wed, 10 Oct 2012 IANS

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central government, the Airports Authority of India and Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) on a petition alleging lapses in allotment of land for the airport here.

The petition sought a court-monitored investigation into the decision of the authorities in allotting land to DIAL, a private consortium, for the Indira Gandhi International Airport at throwaway price.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajiv Mehra to give details of steps taken by the government after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) submitted its report on the issue.

The court would next hear the case Oct 31.

On a plea filed by NGO Youth Against Corruption, the bench said: "The ASG will come before this court and tell what actions they (Centre) have taken so far after the CAG filed its report."

The NGO told the court "the CAG report has listed out a number of glaring examples of favouritism towards DIAL, causing huge losses to the exchequer".

The petition alleged that the government gave away "190 acres of prime land and assets to DIAL at a throwaway price".

"By just investing Rs.1,813 crore, GMR now owns 4,700 acres of land in the most prime location of India. State largesse has been passed into private hands virtually free," the petition said.

The NGO contended that its complaint submitted to the prime minister and the Central Bureau of Investigation on the alleged irregularities Aug 22 evoked no response.

The petitioner sought a court-monitored investigation by the CBI or a special investigation team into the issue.

"It is submitted that the above favours have been given to DIAL when Mr. Praful Patel was the civil aviation minister. His involvement and that of other officers for some personal benefits cannot be ruled out," alleged the petition.

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