Modi Government Did Not Break Any Rule: Justice MB Shah

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Justice MB Shah, who probed the allegations of corruption, including land allocation to Tata Nano project, on Sunday said the charges levelled against the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi were "baseless."

Justice MB Shah If you go by the entire report, you will find that the government had followed all the laws and procedures, particularly the Land Revenue Code, in allotting land to industries. The Commission found no substance in the charges made against the government in that regard.

The Shah Commission, whose report was tabled in the Gujarat Assembly on 31 March, looked into the allegations which mostly pertained to allotment of land for major industrial and infrastructure projects including nine cases related to Tata Nano plant, Adani Group's Mundra Port and SEZ, and Larsen and Toubro.

In the report, the Commission found no substance in those allegations and termed most of them “baseless”.

According to Shah, government has not done anything wrong in allotting land to such industries.

Justice MB Shah You can’t just tell the industries to fend for themselves after inviting them here to set up their plants. Tata Nano was also invited here (Ahmedabad) by us. And, land was allotted as per the rules. Same procedures were followed by the past governments too.

Congress leaders, including Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhvaida, had submitted a memorandum to the then President in July 2011, listing 17 allegations of corruption against Modi who was at the helm of affairs in Gujarat.

Modi had set up the panel under retired Supreme Court judge MB Shah in August 2011 to inquire into 15 out of 17 allegations, as remaining two were sub-judice.

According to Shah, those who raised these issues, did not turn up before the Commission to record their statements on many occasions.

Justice MB Shah Instead of appearing in person to explain their side, they used to send their lawyer. No one was ready to register their statements before the Commission on affidavit.

Among these 15 allegations, one was regarding irregularities in "Sujalam Sufalam" canal network project. In his observation in the report, Shah left the matter on government instead of giving a clear verdict.

Justice MB Shah Only the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) or Public Undertakings Committee (PUC) can look into the observations made by the CAG. Commission can not decide on it. PAC and PUC are the final authorities for that.

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