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The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has adjourned till February 13 the hearing in the irrigation scam case in which Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was given a clean chit by the state anti-corruption bureau last month.

Pawar had filed an affidavit in the court seeking dismissal of the petitions saying the allegations against him were “malafide”  and also said there was no demand for the investigations to be handed over to the CBI or the ED.

Last month, the ACB had in an affidavit told the court that its inquiries found no involvement of Pawar in the alleged scam in the 12 projects undertaken by the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC). The charges were that as VIDC chairman Pawar had colluded with contractors while issuing tenders for projects, causing a loss to the exchequer.

However, in his first affidavit filed yesterday,  Pawar said the petitioner Atul Jagtap nursed personal grievances against him and was, therefore, resorting to the petitions to malign his image. “I have not indulged in any corrupt, malafide or motivated act while discharging my duties as minister,” Pawar claimed.

He further stated:  “Every decision has been taken as per law and in line with procedures and I have not favoured anyone. All contracts were awarded by the department in accordance with rules and did not warrant my interference,”.

— India Legal Bureau

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