Minister of state for housing Ravindra Waikar may be in more trouble as the Lokayukta has ordered a probe into the alleged grabbing of land for a gymnasium at Aarey Colony. Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam had moved Lokayukta demanding action.
Nirupam said after the hearing before Lokayukta on Tuesday that the ombudsman has ordered a thorough probe into the allegations on September 26, 27 and 28. The Lokayukta is expected to find out if the minister failed to remove the illegal construction in Aarey colony in the past one-and-a-half year of his tenure as minister.
“Though any MLA does not come directly in the purview of public servant and hence covered under Lokayukta Act, he will be held responsible as the construction continued even after he became a minister in December 2014. The ministers are covered in the purview of the Act. The Lokayukta has ordered to conduct the probe holding him responsible for not removing the illegal construction even after assuming the charge as minister,” said Pradyuman Waghmare, advocate representing Nirupam.
During the previous hearing, the Mhada officials had reportedly admitted no permission was taken by Waikar before constructing the gymnasium from his local area development fund. The executive engineer of Mhada, had said as the permission for the construction was not taken, not only the first floor but the entire structure was illegal.