BMA mulls lawsuit against DSI on Skytrain controversy

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BANGKOK, Jan 3 – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to seek the Criminal Court’s verdict on a move by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to investigate its 30-year agreement recently signed with the private sector to operate the city’s elevated electric rail system.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said the BMA will ask the court to decide if the DSI’s action is a breach of Sections 157 and 200 of the Criminal Code.

The DSI earlier notified management of the BMA, Krungthep Thanakhom Company and Bangkok Transit System Co (BTSC) to acknowledge charge of irregularities for granting the 30-year sky train concession to BTSC next Wednesday.

Standing firm that the BMA abides by the law in its agreement with the BTSC, the Bangkok governor said the deal was in accord with Sections 281 and 283 of the constitution, the 1985 Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Act and the 1999 Decentralisation Act.

He said the authority to check the BMA belongs to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, not the DSI.

The Interior Ministry, if asked by the DSI to scrap the BMA’s deal, needs to think twice to ensure that the mass transit service for Bangkok people is not disrupted, Mr Sukhumbhand warned.

Mr Skhumbhand said he will discuss the DSI’s order with the Democrat Party’s legal team as the request to question the BMA officials next Wednesday involves the party, he said.

The Bangkok governor won the gubernatorial poll under the banner of the opposition Democrat Party which recently announced it would field him to contest the upcoming Bangkok election for a second term.