Admitting that there was a delay in filing the first information report (FIR) in the Patliputra Cooperative Housing Society case, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday that a judicial probe would be initiated if the irregularities found were serious.
The society at Four Bungalows in Andheri (West) is under the scanner for illegal construction by a shopping centre built on its premises. The society has several top bureaucrats and police officers as its members, including municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar and urban development secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava — both heading departments that are supposed to take action in case of such irregularities
On Tuesday, Chavan said he had asked the city commissioner of police (CP) to file his report within one month.
The CM will take a decision to appoint a judicial commission provided the CP finds serious irregularities. The economic offence wing (EOW) is also probing the matter.
However, the Opposition wasn’t satisfied with Chavan’s reply and stalled the house. The CM’s written reply said the ‘illegal’ structure was regularised on February 18, 2012. This further angered the Opposition as they had raised the issue in the winter session of the state legislature. The question was kept pending as Chavan had failed to give a satisfactory answer.
Opposition members alleged that Chavan had protected senior officers and avoided taking stern action against the officers who now hold key posts.
The chief minister admitted some lapses, but denied having protected the retired and serving officers. “A report by the chief secretary pointed out that there was a delay in registering a report by Versova police. The EOW is now probing the case,” he said.
Opposition members Eknath Khadse pointed out that high-salaried bureaucrats had shown their income to be around Rs12,000 or Rs18,000 to claim that the flats were priced below the market rates.
MLAs said that though the police had registered an offence against the owner of the store, the office bearers of the society were not booked. They demanded that as per the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, a case be registered against the latter as well.
If the government decides to file an FIR against the society, the executive committee of the society comprising senior serving and retired officers such as Vidyadhar Kanade, Sunil Porwal, Pratima Umaraji and PL Bongirwar will be booked.
The Hindustan Times had reported about the delay in filing an FIR in the case after former IPS officer YP Singh had obtained the information under the Right to Information Act in September 2011.