A week after being slammed by the Bombay high court, the state government has cancelled the allotment of a 16,000 sq m plot at Deolali in Nashik district to a housing society of senior bureaucrats and some defence officials.
Additional government pleader VS Gokhale on Friday informed the high court that the allotment of September 2009 has been cancelled, and the concerned revenue officials have been informed about the same.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Aurangabad-based social activist Chetan Kamble, alleging that allotment of the plot for rehabilitation of around 800 slumdwellers in the area was declined by the Deolali Cantonment Board citing security reasons.
The PIL alleged that land was instead allocated to the proposed Maitree Sainik and Sarkari Karmachari Co-operative Housing Society, which has 42 members, out of which two are civilians, a few are defence officials, while a majority of them are bureaucrats serving in the state.
The division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RV More also directed the state government to inquire how many bureaucrats had furnished false information for becoming member of the housing society.
The court has set a deadline of three months for the state government to complete its probe in this case and has asked it to submit the action taken report immediately thereafter.
The PIL alleged that many beneficiaries furnished false information while applying for membership of the proposed housing society.
Kamble's counsel Uday Warunjikar said that the then collector of Aurangabad, Kunal Kumar, had wrongly stated in an affidavit that his annual income was only Rs70,000 to seek membership of the proposed housing society. "Now time has come to wake up and take stern action against such bureaucrats," said justice Desai, adding, "It is not so simple. A person of stature of collector made such a declaration on affidavit."
Apart from Kumar, many other IAS and IPS officers such as P Ambalban, S Vokkolingam, Rajvardhan, Prabhat Kumar, Idzes Kundan, Prajakta Lavangare and close relatives of some others - Dr Nirupama Dange, wife of former chief secretary JP Dange had figured in the list of beneficiaries.