HC asks Maha govt to respond to PIL against CM’s housing quota

Mumbai:The Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra Government to inform till September 5 how many FIRs it had filed against those who had secured double or multiple allotment of houses from the Chief Minister’s housing quota by giving false declaration of facts.

Posting the matter to September 9, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka also asked the state to inform the number of double or multiple allottees, who had surrendered the houses.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar challenging double or multiple allotment of houses from the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota.

The state informed the court that a house is allotted to a person from the discretionary quota on condition that he does not own a flat in the limits of the city or district from where he lives. But in some cases it had come to its notice that people file false affidavits affirming that they do not own flats and seek double allotments.

The government had earlier informed the court that it had stopped allotting houses from CM’s quota in keeping with the court’s order scrapping the state’s policy on the issue.

The state had also informed the court that those who had secured flats from the CM’s quota on the basis of false declaration about not owning a house, will face prosecution.

On March 20, the high court had struck down the state’s policy for allotment of houses to the beneficiaries under the CM’s quota.

Describing the policy as “illegal, irrational and unfair”, the court had asked the state to frame a new policy which should be transparent and fair. The bench had also restrained the state from making further allotments from the CM’s quota under the policy struck down by the court.

Under the CM’s quota, flats were being allotted to various categories of people such as freedom fighters, artists, sports persons, journalists and government employees.

The PIL argued that beneficiaries of flats under CM’s quota were either related to MLAs or MPs or were influential politicians themselves and the common man did not benefit from those schemes.

The petitioner alleged the government had not taken action against those who had secured more than one flat after making false declarations, either by way of registering an FIR or cancelling the allotment.

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