Bombay high court appoints Adarsh panel judge to probe CM quota flats scam
To probe irregularities in allotment of flats under the 5 percent Urban Land Ceiling and 2 percent under Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority
Oct 10, 2014
Source : The Times of India
Bombay high court


MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Thursday appointed one man inquiry commission to probe into the allotments of flats under the chief minister's discretionary quota.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Girish Kulkarni appointed retired HC judge Justice J A Patil to probe irregularities in allotment of flats under the 5 percent Urban Land Ceiling and 2 percent under Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority.

Justice Patil headed the two-member Adarsh Commission. which probed the scam of how a 31 storeyed building in Colaba, reserved for war widows and families of Kargil War heroes, went into the possession of politicians, bureaucrats and top defence officials.

The order appointing Justice Patil was passed in public interest litigation by activist Ketan Tirodkar seeking criminal action against such double allottees. The judges said right from 1982 allotments are being made in 9 urban agglomeration of ULC and 7 regional boards of MHADDA. From time to time general resolutions were issued with regard to allotment and the last was passed on November 30, 2011. On March 20, the HC had held that this GR is arbitrary, irrational and illegal and restrained the State government from making any further allotment except in cases of service quarters.

Today the judges said although the government did take some steps but the exercise which is required to be done has not been done. Even in the 14 cases under ULC and 10 cases detected under MHADA, ``it appears that the State government is moving very slowly.'' they said, adding that an independent exercise needs to be done.

Justice Patil will be assisted by additional collector under ULC, Mumbai and an officer of the level of chief officer of Maharashtra Housing and Area Developmenmt Authority. He has been given a five month tenure from December 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015. All records and government resolutions, under which the allotments have been made, will be provided to him. The State has been directed to provide all infrastructure including officer premises and staff including stenographers and computers. He will receive remuneration on par with that paid to sitting judges of the High Court.

The judge will have to look into every application made and orders passed in each case. He is free to make recommendation regarding action to be taken. Justice Patil has been directed to submit a detailed report on or before April 30, 2014. The judges clarified that not withstanding this order of appointment of inquiry commission, the State government shall take all possible steps to cancel alltoments, to repossess flats anjd set the criminal law in motion. It will also be open for beneficiaries under both schemes to come forward and surrender their flats. The matter is posted for next hearing on May 5, 2015.

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