PIL disputes government contention over double allotment of flats

0
77

CM-AT-VIDHAN-BHAVANThe Maharashtra government on Monday informed the Bombay High Court that it had started taking action in cases of double allotment of houses to beneficiaries or their family members under Chief Minister’s discretionary quota but the petitioner disagreed saying the state had not done anything concrete in this regard.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by ex-scribe Ketan Tirodkar challenging double or multiple allotment of houses from the CM’s quota.

Tirodkar said the government had not taken action against those who were allotted more than one flats, either by filing FIR or cancelling their allotments. He said the list submitted by the state to the court was not exhaustive and some names of such double allottees were missing.

The government on Monday filed two affidavits stating what action they had taken against such beneficiaries of double allotment of flats from CM’s quota.

One of the affidavit said 14 cases were identified wherein the same person or his/her spouse had been allotted more than one house in state under the chief minister’s five per cent discretionary housing quota.

In two of these cases, the affidavit said, action had been initiated. In one case, FIR had been filed against the allottee by the competent authority and in the other; the state had taken back the tenement. The state is going to take appropriate legal action against the remaining allottees also.

The petitioner pointed out that it was wrongly stated in the government affidavit that a journalist couple, who were allotted two houses in their individual names in 1995, were not related to each other. However, in fact, they were happily married and staying together, he said.

A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka then asked the petitioner to file an affidavit within a week pointing out such irregularities and also asked him to mention names of the beneficiaries whom he considered were double or multiple allottees of flats from CM’s quota.

The matter has been posted for further hearing on March 10.

An earlier affidavit said that the state government had detected 101 cases where blood relatives of allottees have been given houses from the CM’s quota in the same urban agglomeration or in other urban area.

Besides, ten cases have been identified where same persons have been allotted tenements in 2 per cent quota of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) as well as in 5 per cent quota under the Urban Land Ceiling Act, according to the affidavit filed by S K Salimath, Deputy Secretary, Urban Development Department.

The petitioner, Ketan Tirodkar, alleged that politicians and journalists were main beneficiaries of such allotments.

He said “resourceful” people were allotted flats at concessional rates from the CM’s discretionary quota, while the needy and common people were ignored.

Tirodkar gave examples of journalist-couples, who were allotted adjacent flats and cited names of some politicians and their kin who were given flats under the CM’s quota.

The petitioner has annexed to his PIL, a reply received under the Right To Information (RTI) Act from the state government, which included names of allottees from 1989 to 2010. However, it did not contain names of multiple allottees.