Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has decided not to interfere in the Campa Cola matter and let law take its course. Several legislators had suggested that the state take the newly appointed attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi's opinion. However, Chavan has turned down the suggestion.
It is learnt that Chavan said in the cabinet meeting held on Monday that the Supreme Court has clearly restricted any government functionaries from interfering in the issue and, hence, if the state tries to take a stand, it will amount to contempt of court. But sources said seeking legal opinion can't be contempt of court.
SC will hear residents' plea on the issue on June 3.
Earlier, during the day, BJP MLC Ashish Shelar had demanded that Chavan consult Rohatgi and help the residents on humanitarian grounds. The illegal flats are due for demolition by BMC, but the residents say they are innocent.
"We will never demand that state government override the Supreme Court or attract contempt of court in any way, but, on humanitarian grounds, the CM can step in when SC authorises the state to intervene. Earlier, on two occasions, SC had asked the state to take a decision and ask BMC to act on it, but the CM didn't bother to take any step," Shelar said.
Raising the issue in the House, opposition leader Vinod Tawde too had tabled a proposal in the legislative council urging the government to view the issue on humanitarian grounds. Tawde said, "Even SC has given the residents a chance to present their side on June 3... But the state government has not bothered to give them a single chance. The CM has not shown any sympathy towards them."
"In such a situation, the CM should step in for the residents. They are taxpayers of the city. If the state can extend the datum line for illegal slums from 1995 to 2000, why can't these residents be accommodated?" Sena MLC Ramdas Kadam argued in the council.
Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap said the issue needs attention and the CM should look into the matter.