//SC notice on routing of Narmada funds

SC notice on routing of Narmada funds

Indo-Asian News Service, New Delhi, July 7, 2006

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the central government and the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh on a petition seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged routing of foreign funds received by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).

Acting on a petition filed by VK Saxena, president of the National Council for Civil Liberties, a bench of the Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and judge CK Thakker also issued notice to the NBA, through Medha Patkar and her close associate Rahul Bannerjee.

Saxena sought a direction to the CBI to investigate into the affairs of the NBA and the source of foreign funds received by it.

The petitioner's counsel Amar Dave contended that the NBA had been stalling the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam project at the behest of foreign agencies.

He also alleged that no action had been taken on a police complaint registered in 2000 despite the Madhya Pradesh vigilance department giving a report against the NBA.

In the petition, Saxena alleged that the agitations of the NBA virtually resulted in delay and suspension of several important hydel projects such as Sardar Sarovar and Maheshwar.

Saxena said in spite of several reports, the authorities had not taken any action against the NBA, its members and associates, who were getting large amounts of foreign money and local funds to subvert various hydro projects in the country.

He said there was an emergent need for issuance of appropriate directions and guidelines to the central and state governments to ensure that activities of the NBA and other similar organisations causing detrimental impact, jeopardising national interests were nipped in the bud by stringent action.