Mumbai: Take action against the government officials who have aided and abetted the urban land ceiling scam, the Bombay High Court told the state government.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Madhav Bhandari alleging that bogus documents were used and orders passed under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, 1976.
The scam came to light in 2005 when the deputy collector’s office in Pune received a fabricated certificate under the Act, declaring plot in Wakad near Pune as non-surplus.
After a probe, the authorities found out that in several cases sanctions for construction had been obtained on the basis of fake non-surplus certificates.
The PIL claimed that Dr Yogesh Mhase, officer on special duty of former deputy chief minister RR Patil, was also involved in the scam.
After reading the report submitted by retired IAS officer, Sudhakar Joshi, the division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi said: “Before we express opinion about the findings, we direct the state government, through principal secretary of the urban development department, to file an action-taken report before the next date of hearing.”
The case will be next heard on January 17.
Joshi had scrutinised 235 files in which bogus orders were submitted under the Act in the Pune agglomeration.
During Thursday’s hearing, the high court said Joshi’s report recommended civil as well as criminal action against the errant officers. The report has recommended action against 30 officers after stating that there were irregularities in 19 files and around 45 illegal and bogus documents were used.
The report also suggested that the errant officers be given a chance to present their cases.
During the last hearing, advocate general Ravi Kadam had informed the court that they [government] would scrutinise Joshi’s report and then take the decision.