Maharashtra to set up forum to curb govt litigation

Maharashtra government would set up a forum on the lines of 'Lok Adalat' for out-of-court settlement of the cases involving the government, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here tonight.

Fadnavis was speaking at an interactive session at 'Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Award, 2016' function, organised by the media group Lokmat. "We need to set up a forum on the lines of Lok adalats which would assess the merit of the cases filed by the government," Fadnavis said.

He was replying to a question asked by the senior lawyer Shrihari Aney, who, incidentally, stepped down as the Advocate General last month following his controversial comment supporting creation of separate Marathwada state. Aney asked what the government was doing to bring down the pendency of cases in the courts.

"There could be a number of cases (where the government is litigant) which do not have any merit. So in such cases, such a forum can play a crucial role in determining the merit. It would curb the menace of swelling number of pending court cases," the Chief Minister said.

Fadnavis, however, parried the question when asked about his take on Aney's separate Marathwada remark. Actor Nana Patekar, who received the best actor award, appealed the Chief Minister to ban sale of liquor in the drought-affected regions of the state.

To a question by Patekar when the government would provide houses to the police personnel, Fadnavis said, "Our government has planned to construct 29,000 houses for the police force and we are working expeditiously. "We have received so many proposals to allow more FSI for police housing and we are committed to provide this (houses to the policemen)," he said.

When film director Madhur Bhandarkar asked him about the "secret" of his weight loss, Fadnavis said he consulted a dietitian. "She never asked me to cut down on food intake," he quipped.

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