No need for further orders in PIL on CM's housing quota: High Court

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that there was no need to pass further orders on a petition alleging irregularities in the Chief Minister's discretionary housing quota as Maharashtra government is already acting on a report submitted by a panel appointed to probe the matter.

Accordingly, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka disposed of a public interest litigation that alleged double or multiple allotment of flats under the Chief Minister's discretionary housing quota and prayed that such malpractices be stopped forthwith.

The PIL, filed by social activist Ketan Tirodkar, had alleged that many people got more than one flat under the CM's quota by making false declarations. It said most beneficiaries are politicians or those who are close to them.

The High Court had appointed a one-man Commission of Justice (retired) J A Patil in 2014 to probe the alleged irregularities in allotment of flats under the Chief Minister's quota in the last three decades. After making a thorough probe, the panel had submitted on November 24, 2015, its report to the Court along with recommendations and proposed action.

Pending recommendations by the committee, the HC had earlier asked the state to continue its ongoing action against those who got the flats by filing false affidavits.

The judges had also asked such beneficiaries to return the flats or pay up the price if they have sold the flats.

The court had ordered that the government must ensure that those who have got multiple flats hand over the possession back to the authorities. The HC has asked the Patil committee to scrutinise all the applications for flats since 1982 and look for the cases where a single person has got more than one flat. The HC was informed earlier that the government has filed FIRs against 27 people for getting flats fraudulently.

The allotment under the CM's quota has been stopped temporarily following the court's order. Under the scheme, the flats were supposed to be given to freedom fighters, art personalities and sports persons.

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