The Bombay High Court asked former Maharashtra Ministers Narayan Rane, Chhagan Bhujbal and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, to file their reponse within two weeks to a petition alleging that they had been allotted land at cheap rates by the government to set up educational trusts.
The direction was given by a bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Anil Memon who were hearing a PIL filed by activist Hemant Patil on the basis of a Comproller and Auditor General report.
Another former minister Patangrao Kadam filed an affidavit today denying any favours received from Maharashtra state government in getting land at cheap rates for setting up trusts.
He said land for his Bharatiya Vidyapeeth Trust in Pune was obtained from the Maharashtra state government as per rules and there was no illegality. All rules had been strictly followed and the affidavit claimed that the PIL’s allegations are “false”.
Kadam’s affidavit said that the PIL was “politically motivated” and should be dismissed with costs since the allegations were totally “false”.
Other respondents who are yet to file affidavits, have been given two weeks to file their responses.
According to the PIL, the CAG report had alleged that Deshmukh had approved transfer of 24,000 square metres of land to his Manjra Education Trust, while Patangrao Kadam was allotted nearly 20,000 square metres of land in Pune free of cost for his own educational institute, Bharatiya Vidyapeeth.
The PIL alleged that the CAG report had mentioned that former minister Chhagan Bhujbal had been gifted 50,000 square metres of land in Nashik for his educational institute, Mumbai Education Trust (MET).