CM to scrap GR that let Hema get land for cheap

Mumbai : Chief Minister Devendra Fanavis is ready to give away certain discretionary powers, possibly in a bid to get out of the controversy over the land allotted to actress and BJP MP Hema Malini. However, the proposed new policy is unlikely to have any effect on the plot allotment to Malini, his cabinet colleagues have said.

“In a meeting with top government officials, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has given clear directives to do away with the over 30-year-old government resolution (GR) that is the principal bone of contention in this case,” a CMO official told FPJ.

When asked by newsmen about reports about the controversial 1983 GR being scrapped, the chief minister replied in the affirmative and said that he had issued instructions to the administration to come up with a new policy that is based on current market rates.

This simply means that the department will put up a fresh cabinet note at the earliest before the next meeting of the state cabinet.

It also came to fore on Friday that while Fadnavis stated that he has directed the department on this issue a couple of days ago, revenue minister Eknath Khadse was apparently unaware of the development. “I’m not aware of any such development. But, whatever are the directives, they would be put forth at the cabinet meeting before approval,” he said in an apparent attempt to downplay the issue.

The developments also have the backdrop of the matter reaching the Bombay High Court where former journalist Ketan Tirodkar had filed a PIL. Tirodkar, in his PIL, had sought direction to the Mumbai Police Commissioner to file a case of cheating and forgery against the BJP MP and Khadse on charges of illegally allotting the land for her dance academy at a nominal price.

Last week, in a clarification issued, Khadse had stated that the government will take back the land allotted to the actor-MP at Versova in lieu of the land allotment at Ambivali for her Natyavihar Kalakendra Charity Trust.

He had added that the Revenue and Forest Departments had been ordered to place reservations for a garden on the plot of land being taken back from the actor and had clarified that the land allotment was not a new one, but was in the nature of alternate allotment.

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