Thailand’s Pollution Control Department seeks retrial in Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant project case
Department to avoid paying more than 9 billion baht in compensation to Vichitbhan Construction and its partners for the state’s termination of the project in 2003.
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) has filed a new petition with the Administrative Court seeking a retrial in the Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant case, said its director-general Attapol Charoenchansa.
It is a renewed bid by the department to avoid paying more than 9 billion baht in compensation to Vichitbhan Construction and its partners for the state’s termination of the project in 2003.
The project was intended to construct the largest treatment plant in the country, with the capacity to treat water discharged from plants in Samut Prakan at a rate of 525,000 cubic metres per day.
The department scrapped the contract after the project became mired in irregularities. The project was nearly finished when the contractors sued for unlawful termination.
The Arbitration Institute delivered a ruling in 2011, instructing the department to pay the compensation, plus interest to Vichitbhan Construction and its partners. However, the PCD fought back by petitioning the Administrative Court to seek a retrial.
In March, the court denied the request citing a lack of new evidence to justify a retrial. The court also upheld the order instructing the department to pay compensation.
Mr Attapol said that after the March ruling, the PCD moved to challenge the court’s reasoning on the grounds that it did not take into consideration certain important facts pertaining to a related graft case in which the court handed down a guilty verdict to a group of defendants for fraud, he said.
He said as the department’s request is under review, it cannot proceed to pay compensation. According to Mr Attapol, the court has decided to delay the enforcement of its ruling.