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Posted On : 20 Sep, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Chennai 
Petition against former TN power minister dismissed
The Madras High Court today dismissed a petition seeking a CBI probe against former Tamil Nadu power minister Natham Viswanathan in connection with awarding a contract to a solar producer during his tenure, allegedly causing a loss of Rs 25,000 crore to the state exchequer.

Dismissing the petition, Justice Jayachandran said the records revealed that the alleged illegality in entering into a contract with certain solar power producers in 2015 was "ill-conceived".

The purchase price of Rs 7.01 per unit could not be presumed to have been fixed with an ulterior motive and even if that was the case, it could be challenged before the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, the judge observed, while dismissing the petition filed by one S P Sreenivas.

If some ineligible persons were entertained and awarded a contract for power purchase, as alleged by the petitioner, it was for those who had participated in the tender process to challenge it, the judge said.

The petitioner had contended that the state incurred a loss of Rs 25,000 crore in purchasing electricity from the Solar Power Generators company at a rate of Rs 7.01 per unit, when the neighbouring states were getting it for Rs 5.01 per unit.

He had further contended that negotiations should have been carried out with many solar power generators before entering into an agreement to purchase electricity at the rate of Rs 7.01 per unit.

He had alleged that Viswanathan had misused his position as the power minister and allowed the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation to enter into an agreement to purchase electricity by paying a higher price.

Dismissing the petition, the judge said it was for the state regulatory commission to determine the power tariff.
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