Representational image
Representational image

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to file its reply in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging retired police officers have illegally occupied more than 1800 flats in the official quarters.

A division bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice Rajesh Ketkar issued notice to the Home Department seeking its say on the issue highlighted before them by constable Sunil Toke.

In his petition, Toke claimed nearly 1,870 families of retired police officers are living in the quarters. Moreover, he claimed they hadn’t paid rent, the licence fees or penalty for years. He contended that more than 2,000 serving cops have applied for a flat in the quarters, however, owing to the malpractices they still await for one.

“The unauthorised stay of the families in the quarters is causing loss of around Rs crore to the public exchequer. The families staying illegally in the quarters have occupied the flats for minimum of two to 12 years maximum. This is against the existing rules, as a police officer is allowed to stay only for nine months in the quarters, post his retirement,” the PIL claimed.

The petition highlighted the fact that nearly 734 families staying in the quarters, do not have any connection with the police department at all. Accordingly, the petition sought an independent enquiry to probe the malpractices and have also pleaded for directions to the concerned authorities for immediate action.

Having heard the contentions and after perusing the petition, the judges issued notice to the home department and have asked it to file its reply within two weeks.

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