KOCHI: Former PWD secretary T O Sooraj has contended before the high court that it was on his direction that nominal interest was levied on advance paid to the contractor for Palarivattom flyover, despite there being no such practice in the department or any direction from the minister.
The contention was raised by Sooraj in a bail application filed before the high court. As per the bail plea, the allegation against Sooraj, who is the fourth accused, is that he ordered the release of mobilization advance of Rs 8.25 crore to the contractor even though there was no provision for it in the agreement with Roads and Bridges Development Corporation, Kerala (RBDCK). It is also alleged that the petitioner ordered to charge only a meagre interest of 7% for the advance, Sooraj’s petition said. He and other accused in the case were arrested on August 30.
In the bail plea, Sooraj said the contractor submitted an application to RBDCK to provide advance for uninterrupted work of the flyover, which was endorsed by him and forwarded to the PWD minister. “The minister decided to accord sanction for release of advance and ordered to release Rs 8,25,59,768 without any interest...It is the petitioner who ordered to charge interest at the rate of 2% excess of the rate available for saving bank deposits...,” the bail plea said.
The allegation that the government suffered financial loss by releasing the amount is without any basis, the plea said. “It is further submitted that at any time in the history of PWD, no interest is levied for advance except the advance amount released in the above case. For a similar work at Edappally flyover, Rs 25 crore was given as advance without interest,” the petition stated.