Mumbai : The Bombay High Court has granted time to Maharashtra government till January 6 to submit a final list of allottees or their family members who have been allotted houses twice or multiple times from the Chief Minister’s discretionary housing quota.
Advocate General Darius Khambata appeared for the first time in the matter. He said he had got the brief and needed time to argue. He also assured the court that the final list would be submitted on January 6.
The government also filed an affidavit seeking time to file a list of double or multiple allottees.
A bench of Justice Abhay Oka was hearing a PIL challenging double allotment of houses from the CM’s quota.
On December 5, the state had filed a list of allottees of 9 urban Agglomerations, viz Greater Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Ulhasnagar, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur.
However, the court was not satisfied with this list and asked the state to cross verify the names of allottees in one urban Agglomeration with the other. The list has not been submitted yet and for which the time has been sought.
The petitioner pointed out that the government affidavit filed on Monday had mentioned that flats were being allotted from CM’s five per cent quota and two per cent quota. The former quota was in regard to flats under Urban Land Ceiling Act while the 2 per cent quota pertained to flats built by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority.
On a plea made by the petitioner, the court today ordered the list of double allottees should pertain to both the categories of CM’s quota.
In the affidavit, the state clarified on allegation of the petitioner that Maharashtra Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his nephew Sameer were allotted flats from the CM’s quota.
Chhagan Bhujbal was allotted a tenement under the MLA category in Pune Urban Agglomeration by an order dated May 12, 1992. But, he did not enter into an agreement within the prescribed time period following which the allotment was cancelled. However, this aspect is not rectified in the respective register, the affidavit said.
In respect of Sameer Bhujbal, the affidavit said, he was allotted a flat in Pune under “the acute need of space” category by an order dated November 5, 1993.
The petitioner, Ketan Tirodkar, a former scribe, alleged politicians and journalists were main beneficiaries of such allotments.
He said “resourceful” people were allotted flats at concessional rates from the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota, while the needy and common people were ignored.
Tirodkar gave examples of journalist-couples, who were allotted adjacent flats and cited names of some politicians and their kin who were given flats under the CM’s quota.
The petitioner has annexed to his PIL, a reply received under the Right To Information (RTI) Act from the Maharashtra Government, which included names of allottees from 1989 to 2010. However, it did not contain names of multiple allottees.