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HC to appoint retired judge to detect double allotment of flats under CM's discretionary quota

The Bombay High Court today said that a one-man committee of a retired district judge would be appointed to scrutinise all applications since 1989 for acquiring flats under the Chief Minister's discretionary quota in Maharashtra in order to detect cases of double allotment.

The suggestion was given by a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka who asked the Registrar General of the High Court to give a list of names of retired judges, who could be appointed on the committee. The bench said the committee would study applications which had sought flats under CM's quota and also affidavits filed by applicants to find out whether any beneficiary had got double allotment of flats by giving false declaration that he or she does not own a house in the state.

The bench further said the committee would also verify whether a beneficiary of a flat in one agglomeration had got another house in another agglomeration. There were a total of nine agglomerations in the State, an affidavit filed by the State Government said.

The court said it would pass an order on September 29 on appointment of a retired district judge for this committee.

In the meantime, the bench asked the state to submit additional data about the flats it had taken back from those who had been allotted double houses from CM's quota and also information about FIRs registered against double allottees.

On the last occasion, the state had informed that it had filed FIRs against 27 persons who had secured double allotment of houses from CM's quota by giving false declarations.

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 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 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 that 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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