The Bombay high court was on Thursday informed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) that it had prima facie found substance in the allegations against Maharashtra medical education minister Vijaykumar Gavit and his family members having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Amjad Sayyed was informed by ACB that on holding a discreet inquiry into the assets of Gavit and his family, including wife Kumudini and brother Sharad, it had found material against them. The ACB submitted a proposal to the state government on March 5 to seek permission for an open inquiry against the minister. It is still awaiting permission.
The court then directed the government to decide within six weeks on the proposal of the ACB. It also gave time of four weeks to the Gavit family to file a reply declaring their sources of income.
Advocate Uday Warunjikar, arguing for petitioner Vishnu Musale, a farmer from Nashik, said Gavit's father was a teacher in Nandurbar and Gavit himself had worked as a lecturer until 1994. His last monthly salary in June 1994 was Rs9,715. His brother Sharad worked as a Class-IV employee in Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and his last drawn salary in 1994 was Rs1,290.
Gavit was elected as MLA in 1994 and made tribal development minister. His brother was transferred to the state secretariat 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 (RTI) Act showed Gavit having personal assets of Rs1.3 crore, and his family's assets (in the name of wife and daughters) were worth Rs1.5 crore.
Nomination papers filed by Gavit in 2009 showed his assets at Rs2.23 crore and his family's assets at Rs4.78 crore. “The rise in his wealth after he became minister shows it was generated by using illegal means, taking undue advantage of his status as a member of the legislative assembly and as a minister,” the PIL alleges.