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High Court asks minister to file affidavit declaring income sources

Friday, 21 February 2014 - 9:03pm IST | Agency: PTI

The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra Medical Education Minister to file an affidavit in response to a PIL seeking his and his family members' prosecution for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to the known sources of income.

The bench headed by Justice S J Vajifdar asked the NCP leader Dr Vijaykumar Gavit to declare, in the affidavit, the sources of income from which he purchased properties alleged in the PIL. It is to be filed by March 7.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar, petitioner's lawyer, said Gavit's father was a teacher in Nandurbar. Gavit himself worked as a lecturer until 1994. His last monthly salary in June 1994 was Rs 9,715, according to the petitioners, who are Nashik-based activist.

His brother Sharad worked as a Class-IV employee in the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation. His last drawn salary in 1994 was Rs 1,290.

Gavit was elected as MLA in 1994 and made Tribal Development Minister. His brother was transferred to Mantralaya as a special officer. Sharad, too, was elected as an MLA from Navapur constituency in 2009.
Warunjikar said the information acquired through the Right To Information Act showed Gavit having personal assets of Rs 1.3 crore, and his family's assets (in the name of wife and daughters) were worth Rs 1.5 crore.

Nomination papers filed by Gavit in 2009 showed his assets at Rs 2.23 crore and his family's assets at Rs 4.78 crore.

"The rise in his wealth after he became minister shows that it was generated by using illegal means, taking undue advantage of his status as a Member of Legislative Assembly and as a minister," the PIL alleges. 

"Record of land transactions in Nandurbar district in the last 10 to 15 years showed that many people below the poverty line who were connected to Gavit and his brother had purchased huge properties. This showed that the Gavit family purchased those properties in the name of their loyal persons/workers," the PIL further says. 

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