In 2011, MHADA had conducted a lottery for the ownership of its 4,034 houses in various parts of Mumbai. Later, the authority received an anonymous letter revealing the involvement of a big scam in the draw. An internal inquiry was conducted and it was found that around 425 applicants had similar addresses, telephone numbers and savings account numbers mentioned in their application forms.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Deputy Chief Officer, MHADA (Mumbai board), Vishal Deshmukh, said, “Already FIRs have been registered against 334 applicants and their allotments have been cancelled. It has come to light that the other 91 lottery winners too have won the houses by submitting fake documents and so we have started cancelling the allotment letters to the 91 fake applicants.”
MHADA started the cancellation procedure for the 91 winnders after the winners failed to prove their eligibility to claim the flats. This also means that these applicants had won the houses in the lottery by submitting fake documents. With these applicants under scrutiny and the cancellation in process, there will now be 425 houses from the 2011 lottery that will remain vacant. Officials are yet to decide if the vacant houses are to be allotted to those on the waiting list of the 2011 lottery or to release these houses in the next lottery in 2014.
“We have yet not decided whether the houses of these 425 applicants will be given to those on the waiting list or will be released in the next MHADA lottery,” added the official. The FIR was registered under IPC Section 420, a non-bailable offence, for cheating the housing board of 425 flats. So far, MHADA has submitted the documents of 243 applicants for case investigations. Before making an arrest in the case, the police officials will first verify the documents.