Jharkhand HC seeks government affidavit over doubling HC building cost

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Ranchi (IANS): The Jharkhand High Court on Friday sought an affidavit from the state government over the escalating estimated cost of construction of a new building of the High Court from Rs 265 crore to Rs 699 crore.

"While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Chief Justice Annirudh Bose and Justice D.N. Patel sought the affidavit from the state by December 14," Rajiv Kumar, lawyer of the PIL petitioner told reporters. 

"When contract was awarded to a construction company in 2016, the construction cost was Rs 265 crore and in a short period of two years the estimate has been revised to Rs 699 crore. 

"No approval was taken to hike the estimate. Through the PIL we have sought a CBI probe in hiking of the estimate of construction of the new building of the High Court," Kumar said.

The Jharkhand government had also formed a five-member committee to probe how the estimate escalated. The committee in its report had pointed out that additional work was added to the initial construction work and the same contractor was awarded the additional work without floating tenders. This is gross violation of the financial rules, he said.

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