The Bombay high court on Tuesday ordered the state government to submit all files pertaining to the allotment of flats under the chief minister’s discretionary quota to the justice JA Patil committee by July 31.
The division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Revati Mohite-Dere also clarified that if the state government failed to submit 3,016 ‘missing’ files, the committee probing the allotments would be free to draw appropriate inferences.
The directive came after advocate general Anil Singh pointed out that 3,016 files of allotments made through the urban development department were untraceable. Singh was responding to a public interest litigation filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar seeking a probe into the allotments alleging that many people got more than one flat under the quota by making false declarations and most beneficiaries were either politicians or people close to them.
Acting on the PIL, on October 9, 2014, the high court had appointed justice (retired) JA Patil to probe alleged irregularities in the allotment of houses since 1982. However, not one file pertaining to the allotment of flats has been submitted to the committee, and therefore the court on Tuesday directed the state to extend the term of the committee to October 15.
Meanwhile, only seven people have surrendered the flats allotted to them under the discretionary quota, the high court was told. Earlier, the court was told around 1,200 people had surrendered their flats. Singh, however, clarified that 1,200 was the number of vacant flats and was not the number of flats surrendered.