MLA can’t claim Rs 20 lakh, says state secretariat | india | Hindustan Times
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MLA can’t claim Rs 20 lakh, says state secretariat

Legislator Ramesh Chaudhary has no right to claim the Rs 20.09 lakh deposited with the high-powered committee for submitting fake medical bills, said the Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat, reports Urvi Mahajani.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2009 01:57 IST
Urvi Mahajani

Legislator Ramesh Chaudhary has no right to claim the Rs 20.09 lakh deposited with the high-powered committee for submitting fake medical bills, said the Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat.

Additional Government Pleader Nitin Deshpande on Wednesday submitted an affidavit to the Bombay High Court.

The affidavit claimed that Chaudhary, an MLA from Yaval in Jalgaon district, had committed several illegalities in submitting medical bills. Hence it had recovered over Rs 20 lakh from him which could not be claimed back.

Last month, Chaudhary had filed a petition in the court seeking the money back stating that reimbursing the medical bills was his right as an MLA.

In 2006, NGO Janhit Manch had filed a public interest litigation claiming that many sitting and former MLAs and members of Legislative Council submit fake medical bills and claim lakhs of rupees from the government.

The high court formed a high-powered committee to scrutinise the bills and recover the amount.

In April, the court issued a notice to Chaudhary after the committee accused him of cheating the treasury by claiming Rs 20.09 lakh through fake medical bills.

The three-time Congress MLA deposited the money with the committee in six instalments between April and November 2008.

In the affidavit, Anant Kalse, principal secretary, Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat, said the bills submitted by Chaudhary were not supported by a medical officer’s prescription.

There were also no case papers of the patient [Chaudhary or any his family member], the affidavit added.

“When he [Chaudhary] was called to return the money, he could have objected and asked for an opportunity to apprise the committee about his part of the story. This was not done,” said the affidavit. “Even today, in this writ petition, no explanation is offered by the petitioner.”

The medical officers who did not maintain a record of Chaudhary or his family members’ treatment have also been removed from services, the affidavit added.

Advocate Jamshed Mistry, who was appointed as amicus curie (friend of court) in the petition filed by Janhit Manch, said the high court will hear the matter after two weeks and asked Chaudhary to file a rejoinder affidavit, if he wants.