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HC imposes cost on state minister

Taking serious note of the sorry state of affairs at Mantralaya regarding the decision-making process in quasi-judicial proceedings, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday slapped a cost of Rs 30,000 on state power minister Sunil Tatkare for issuing two contradictory decisions in a case.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2009 02:18 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari

Taking serious note of the sorry state of affairs at Mantralaya regarding the decision-making process in quasi-judicial proceedings, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday slapped a cost of Rs 30,000 on state power minister Sunil Tatkare for issuing two contradictory decisions in a case.

Justice V.C. Daga directed the state to pay the amount to petitioner Sawitri Pal and recover the same from Tatkare within four weeks.

The matter dates back to 2002, when the office of the controller of rationing had issued an advertisement for allotment of a shop in Malad (West). Pal was one of the 22 applicants, but the shop was allotted to Jaiambe Grahak Sahakari Sanstha.

Pal moved a revision application before Tatkare, then minister for Food and Civil Supplies, challenging the rejection of her allotment.

The hearing of the application was in August 2005, but the order was passed in November 2006. When Pal did not receive a copy of the order, she was told that the matter had been decided in her favour and given an unsigned order.

But when she received an official copy in 2007, she was shocked to find that her application had been rejected, her lawyer Poonam Bhosale said.

Justice Daga found though Tatkare had heard the application as quasi-judicial authority neither of the orders were dictated by him, but prepared by a desk officer who had never attended the proceedings.