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HC sets aside policies on house allotments under CM’s quota

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Describing as “illegal” the policies of Maharashtra government for allotment of houses to needy persons under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota
buildingsMumbai: Describing as “illegal” the policies of Maharashtra government for allotment of houses to needy persons under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota, the Bombay High Court today set aside these schemes.

In a significant judgement, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka held that the policies for allotment of houses under the CM’s quota were “illegal, unfair and irrational”.

The bench, however, granted liberty to the state government to frame a new policy for allotment of houses which should be transparent and fair to persons of all categories.

The bench also restrained the state from making further allotments under the CM’s quota in keeping with the existing policies.

The judges also set aside a Government Resolution of November 30, 2011, which had set out a new policy for allotting houses under the CM’s quota.

Flats are alloted to freedom-fighters, artists, sportspersons, government employees, etc, from this quota.

The court was hearing petitions filed by former government employees claiming that they were eligible for flats under the “Chief Minister’s quota” since 1989, but their names remained on the waiting list.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar, appearing for Manohar Bait, one of the petitioners, said the information obtained by Bait under the Right to Information revealed that most of the beneficiaries of CM’s quota were either related to MLAs or MPs, or were influential politicians themselves.

The common man did not benefit from these schemes, he said.

During the hearing, the court observed that the CM had “absolute and unfettered” discretion in allotment of houses and this was not fair. Members of the public should be informed that such schemes are available for them.

“Unless you (state) adopt a transparent and fair procedure, how can you say that it (scheme) is reasonable?” the bench asked.

On earlier occasion, government pleader Sandeep Shinde had informed that the state wanted to amend the scheme set out in GR of November 2011. He also informed that in the last one-and-a-half years, no allotment of houses was made under the CM’s quota.

PTI

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