The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra government to appoint a senior officer to probe assets of former Medical Education Minister Vijaykumar Gavit and his family in a disproportionate assets case.
A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka ordered the state to appoint a senior officer from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to supervise the probe against Gavit, his wife Kumudini and brother Sharad.
The bench also asked the state to inform in an affidavit about the investigation that has been done in respect of Gavit’s wife and brother for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by VR Musale seeking prosecution of Gavit and his family. During the hearing earlier, ACB had informed that it had found prima facie substance against the minister and his relatives.
The bench noted in its order that the reply filed by the state did not disclose the nature of the inquiry made into the assets held by Gavit and his family. It asked the state to look into this aspect and file its affidavit by July 23.
Meanwhile, income tax department informed that it had reopened the assessment of Gavit and his family since 2007-08 under Income Tax Act and Wealth Tax Act.
IT department submitted a letter written by Dhule ward IT officer to IT department wherein it was stated that Gavit had shown an income of Rs 44,250 in 2007-08, Rs 71,053 in 2008-09, Rs 73,592 + Rs 38830 (agriculture) in 2009-10, Rs 80,300 in 2010-11, Rs 77,500 + Rs 1,90,180 (agr) in 2011-12, Rs 1,32,100 + Rs 2,86,230 (agr) in 2012-13 and Rs 1,27,740 + Rs 3,82,570 AY 2013-14.
The Court has kept the matter for further hearing on July 25.
The ACB had stated earlier that on holding a discreet inquiry into the assets of Gavit and his family members it had found material against them and submitted a proposal to the state on March 5 to seek permission for an open inquiry against the minister.
Later, the state informed the high court that the Home Ministry had given nod to ACB to hold an open inquiry.
The court had earlier asked the former minister to file an affidavit, declaring sources of income from which he purchased properties by paying cash as alleged in the PIL.
The PIL, seeking prosecution of Gavit and his family members, was admitted in April by the high court which had deferred the hearing for granting further interim relief.
ACB had informed the court that even before the PIL was filed, several complaints were filed with them against Gavit and his family during the period 2009 to 2012.
Hence, it held a discreet inquiry and found that prima facie there was substance against them with regard to assets disproportionate to known sources of income, ACB said.
Gavit, a senior NCP leader, was sacked from the Maharashtra cabinet after his daughter Heena got a Lok Sabha ticket from BJP to contest from Nandurbar seat.