High Court asks: What action taken against double allotment of flats from CM’s quota
The Bombay High Court today said that Maharashtra government must produce by December 21 a list of those who have got two flats under
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today said that Maharashtra government must produce by December 21 a list of those who have got two flats under the Chief Minister’s quota, and explain the action taken in such cases.
The Government submitted a list of double allotted in Mumbai on December 9, but the court today said it wanted a complete list of such allotments from across the state.
As the state today sought time, the division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka said it should first comply with the second part of the April 10, 2012 order which required the government to order inquiry into second allotments, with regard to the cases in the list furnished earlier.
The court is hearing a public interest litigation filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, alleging that in many cases the same person or his/her family member was given another flat under the CM’s quota (such flats are given at rates much below the market rates), while several other deserving applicants had to wait.
The PIL cites an instance where wife of a cabinet minister was allotted a second house in Pune in 2009. However, government pleader Aruna Pai today said this allotment was later cancelled.
Pai also said government had conducted inquiry, and there were at least three cases where the second allotment of flat was subsequently cancelled.
But the HC was not satisfied, and asked whether such inquiry was conducted in all the cases cited in the list.
“Show us compliance…it has to be in respect of the entire state. We are now setting a time frame for the same,” said the Judges
Tirodkar contended that he had got names of double allotted through Right to Information, but these names did not tally with those in the list provided by the government.
High Court asked him to prepare a state-wise list of double allotments from the data collected through RTI, and provide it to the government within a week.
The present list given by the government has 95 names. Most of them are politicians and journalists. Some of them are freedom-fighters.
According to Tirodkar, politicians and journalists are the main beneficiaries of double allotment. In one case, he said, a journalist couple were allotted adjacent flats.
Manohar Shankar Bait, a retired central government employee who too has filed a PIL on the same issue, claims that he was found eligible in 1981 for a flat from the quota, but was put on the waiting list in 2006, after which he never received any communication from the government.
Rich and influential people were given multiple flats while ordinary applicants were being ignored, he said.