Himachal Pradesh high court on Wednesday pulled up the state government for filing affidavits contrary to the actual position of World Bank funded Theog-Hatkoti road.
The court directed chief secretary, principal secretary (public works), engineer-in chief (public works) to show-cause why they should not be preceded in terms of Contempt of court Act for filing affidavits contrary to the exact position existing on the spot.
A division bench comprising chief justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed the orders, posting the matter for July 6 for the next hearing. On Wednesday, amicus curiae and two-member committee constituted by the court filed the compliance reports. The court further directed CS Sethi, managing director of the company, whom the widening work was allotted to, remain present before the court during the next hearing.
The court observed that the amicus curiae through its compliance reports brought into the notice of court that the affidavits filed by the committee, constituted on December 3 last year, comprising chief secretary, principal secretary (public works), engineer-in chief- (public works), besides affidavits filed by the officers from time to time are contrary to the factual position existing on the spot.
The HC had constituted an expert committee comprising of former district judge BL Soni and retired chief engineer Arun Sharma as members.
"We have also gone through the report submitted by the committee constituted by the court and we find that the report is an eye-opener for the state authorities as well as for the other agencies connected with the execution of the work," observed the court.
On May 2 this year, the HC arrayed a USA-based firm, M/s Louis Berger Group, through its team leader Andrew Boghle, consultant for the project as respondent, for not performing its job satisfactorily. Later the court had also taken the speech of chief minister Virbhadra Singh, delivered on the floor of the assembly, on record, wherein he had expressed his concern about the execution of the work.