Monday, February 17, 2014

‘Name CM’s quota flat owners in 4 days’

HC Warns Of Contempt If Multiple Allottees’ List Is Not Given By Friday
Mumbai: Furnish a list of all double or multiple flat allotments under the chief minister’s discretionary quota in four days, the Bombay high told the state government on Monday.

The high court’s tough stance was clear when a division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and S C Gupte said it would be forced to initiate action if the list was not submitted.

“We want complete compliance of the April 2012 order of the high court. If not, we will not hesitate to issue contempt proceedings,” said the judges.

Hearing a petition on irregularities in allotments under the CM’s quota, another division bench in April 2012 had asked the state to furnish a list of persons to whom second flats had been allotted under the quota as well as details of whether any inquiry was conducted before the allotments.

About 2% of all Mhada flats and 5% flats in private projects on land that was within the purview of the Urban Land Ceiling Act go to the CM’s discretionary quota. They are allotted by the CM to artists, journalists, sportsmen and elected representatives.

The government’s last-gasp bid on Monday to keep the list secret by offering a copy only for the judges’ perusal did not pass muster.

“The April order does not say the copy of the list of allottees should not be given to the petitioner,” said the judges. They ordered the state to submit the list on Friday and give copies to petitioner Ketan Tirodkar by Saturday.

Additional public prosecutor Aruna Pai said the list was ready and the state would submit it to the court. The next hearing has been set for Monday.

Tirodkar in his petition had said he had obtained details of flat allotments under the CM’s quota between 1989 and 2010 through the Right to Information Act. He claimed there had been second allotments either to the same person or his family members and the beneficiaries were mostly politicians and journalists. “(The names of allotees) will be clear from the list,” said the court.

The court also heard the petition of Manohar Bait, who was initially held eligible for a flat under the CM’s quota and kept on the waiting list for years before being told that he could not be allotted a flat. Advocate Uday Warunjikar, counsel for Bait, echoed Tirodkar and told the court that details obtained under the RTI had revealed that politicians and their kin cutting across party lines benefited from second or multiple allotment of flats in violation of rules.
Shibu Thomas TNN

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