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Ulhasnagar: Officer suspended for collecting property tax from illegal buildings

Mumbai: Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court today that it had suspended an officer of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation for allegedly collecting property tax from 600 builders in respect of unauthorised constructions and pocketing the money.

Milind Sawant, the officer, was not authorised to collect the tax.

He was suspended on July 4 this year, the affidavit filed by Pratibha Kiran Mangudkar, Under Secretary, Urban Development Department, said.

The charge sheet against Sawant had been submitted to the General Administration Department and it will be served to him once state government sanctions action, Mangudkar said.

The affidavit came in response to public interest litigation filed by Ved Prakash Rohira, an activist, alleging that illegal constructions had mushroomed in Ulhasnagar, one of the satellite towns on Mumbai's outskirts, due to corruption in the civic administration.

Sawant, then the Deputy Engineer in Ulhasngar Municipal Corporation, is now with the Collector's office at Nashik.

Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani said the PIL may be disposed of as the officer had been suspended.

However, the division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka said mere suspension was not enough and the court would prefer to wait until further action was complete.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.

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