The Bombay high court on Thursday issued a notice to Thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik (in pic) on a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs12,821.50 crore in the One-Time Planning Budget (OTPB) of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC).
A division bench of justices PV Hardas and PN Deshmukh also issued notices to Naik’s sons Sandeep and Sanjeev, nephew Sagar, the state government, NMMC chief and the director general of police.
The PIL was filed by advocate and journalist Vinod Gangwal. “This one-time budget is arbitrary, against government rules and prepared under the influence of Ganesh Naik,” alleged the PIL.
On June 13, dna Navi Mumbai had front-paged an article, “One-time planning NCP’s New Poll Stunt”. The Congress and the Shiv Sena termed Naik’s move as “a new election stunt of the ruling party”. dna had reported Naik’s statement on June 21, when he said “he will go ahead with the one-time plan, even if the urban development department says no”.
As per rules, this budget should have been presented by the municipal commissioner, or by an authorised person of NMMC, to the standing committee. However, this budget was presented as if it is the hegemony of Naik family, alleged the PIL.
“In the entire budget, no name of any NMMC officer is seen...,” the PIL said. Further, all projects shown in the brochure are either completed or payments have been made.
Gangwal said that since June he has sent many mails to the chief minister, chief secretary and the Asian Development Bank, saying NMMC has applied for a loan worth Rs4,500 crore. Ever since, Gangwal said, he has been receiving several threats and has lodged complaints with the police and even the DGP.
The PIL prayed that the civic chief be restrained from issuing any amount and recover the amount illegally spent.
The PIL has been kept for hearing after three weeks. Naik was unavailable for comment.