Sooner than later, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will have to decide what action to take in the case involving Patliputra Co-operative Housing Society, which is under scanner for illegal construction by a shopping centre built on its premises.
Chavan will have to decide whether to direct the police to book the society for violation of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act or stand by municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar, who is also a member of the society and is likely to be targeted by the legislators in the Assembly.
The Patliputra society at Four Bungalows, Andheri has the Kamdhenu Shopping Centre on its premises. The Versova police have filed an FIR against the owner of the shopping mall for creating a shopping centre by demolishing internal walls of the structure, which was supposed to have 12 convenience shops on ground floor and two shops on first floor. This was not in accordance with the approved plan of the housing society.
Legislators from all parties want Chavan to take action against the society since under the provisions of the MRTP Act, the owner of the plot is held liable for any changes in the original construction plan. The question came up for discussion in Assembly on Tuesday but was withheld by speaker Dilip Walse-Patil seeking clarity from the government on the issue. It is now likely to come up before the house on Thursday.
If the government decides to file an FIR against the society, the executive committee of Patliputra society comprising senior serving and retired officers such as Vidyadhar Kanade, Sunil Porwal, Pratima Umaraji and PL Bongirwar will be booked. The society's other prominent members include urban development secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava, former chief secretaries Johny Joseph and JP Dange, home secretary UC Sarangi and MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana.
The legislators are also planning to raise the issue of propriety, as one of the members of the society is municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar. "The BMC took a year to file FIR after the irregularities came to light. We will ask the government whether there was any specific reason behind the delay and why the BMC was so soft on the issue. The chief minister cannot ignore the fact that Kumar is member of the society," said a prominent Mumbai legislator from the Congress.
The Hindustan Times had reported about the delay in filing the FIR in the case after former IPS officer YP Singh obtained the information under the Right to Information in September.