ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Public Interest Litigation

W e should be grateful to Madhav Godbole and E A S Sarma for having dared to criticise the government, including its politicians and senior bureaucrats, for the ineptitude in the Enron settlement saga (Aftershocks of Dabhol Power Project, August 26, 2006). They have essentially made three points, while illuminating how the government did a poor job in the negotiation for revival of Dabhol Power Company (DPC), which is now rechristened as Ratnagiri Power Project: (1) how the judicial enquiry, which could have annulled the contract in case it were to have proved that the public interest was vitiated was killed, by deliberate inaction in getting the Supreme Court stay on the commission vacated. (2) how the government was in deep slumber, not picking up the 65 per cent of Enrons stake, which came for a mere $ 20 million, during the bankruptcy proceedings. (3) how the government agreed to forgo the Maharashtra governments 15 per cent equity, in addition to Rs 401 crore claim on DPC for mis-declaration of capacity, which eventually led to Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) cancelling the contract, where the authors believe MSEB was on a strong wicket.

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