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Another scam in commercial space norms?

Pataliputra co-operative housing society in Andheri (W), which boasts of a member base composed of top bureaucrats, may face police inquiry for alleged violation of housing norms in the commercial use of its space in the basement and on the first floor.

On Tuesday, the society invited sharp criticism from legislators in the State Assembly, who demanded that stern action be taken against the Kamdhenu shopping mall.

Responding to a question raised by Jaykumar Gore, the government revealed that the police had registered a case against the mall's proprietor. Gore, however, asked why the case had been filed in September 2011, almost a year after the BMC had registered its complaint on October 4, 2010.

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BJP MLA Devendra Fadnavis cited the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act to substantiate that action was to be taken not against the individual shop owners, but the society that owns the premises.

Prithviraj Chavan, who is in charge of the Urban Development department, promised that he would enquire about the status of the case with the BMC. Unmoved by his assurances, Eknath Khadse, Leader of Opposition, alleged that the chief minister was trying to shield senior officers. Reminding the house that a former chief minister had resigned over his involvement in the Adarsh housing society scam, Khadse warned that the matter would not be taken lightly.

Taking note of the grim mood of the house, Speaker Dilip Walse Patil decided to reserve the question for debate at a later date. Significantly, most of these officers were earlier members of the controversial Angarika co-operative housing society in Malabar Hill, which faced the Supreme Court's ire in the early 90s.

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