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Chief Minister's quota: Bombay High Court pulls up Maharashtra government on dropping prosecution of accused

Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 7:15am IST | Agency: dna

The Bombay High Court on Friday hauled up the state government for its decision to withdraw the prosecution of those persons who received double allotments of flats under the chief minister's discretionary quota if they returned the second house or paid the market value for it.

"You (state government) cannot say that you will withdraw the prosecution. Why haven't you till now come out with a policy for allotment of flats under the discretionary quota?" a division bench of judges Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayyed said.

The judges made this observation after reading an affidavit filed by S K Salimath, deputy secretary, urban development department, who stated that the government had decided to launch prosecution against double allottees, and also mentioned that action would be initiated to withdraw the criminal proceedings against beneficiaries who returned the flat or paid the cost for it.

The court also took objection to a statement in the affidavit by a double allottee who had made an application to surrender his tenement which was under consideration. The bench remarked, "If the persons are returning the tenements then what are you considering?"

The government submitted the affidavit in connection with the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, highlighting the matter of the multiple allotments of houses from the CM's quota to certain people.

The government had stated in an earlier affidavit that it had detected 101 cases in which blood relatives of allottees were given houses from the CM's quota in the same urban agglomeration or some other urban area.

Ten cases have been identified where the same person has been allotted tenements in the two per cent quota of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) as well as in the five per cent quota under the Urban Land Ceiling Act.

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