The controversy surrounding the largesse of chief ministers (CM) over the years, under the guise of 'discretionary quota', refuses to die down.
The Bombay high court has directed the Maharashtra government to explain the categories under which tenements were allotted to more than one member of a family, some of who have political backgrounds, under the CM's discretionary quota.
A division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi has asked additional pleader Patil to file an affidavit by January 6, 2011, and place on record guidelines for allotment of tenements under the CM's discretionary quota.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Manohar Bait, a retired laboratory assistant with the Indian Government Mint, who has been waiting for the allotment of a tenement since 1989.
When Uday Warunjikar, advocate for Bait, pointed out that there were instances where father and son were allotted a tenement separately under the discretionary quota, an amused justice Marlapalle said, "They (the CM's office) may claim that father and son are two different families."
Warunjikar argued that the guidelines laid down by the government states that only one member of a family would be allotted a tenement. "Politician Makram Pawar, ex-MLA Suresh Gambhir and a politician from Ahmednagar, Dashrath Lokhande, are among those allotted two tenements each," Warunjkar argued.
Warunjikar submitted a list of allottees, which the petitioner had acquired under the right to information act.
According to the list, two tenements were allotted to Ashutosh and Apurva Javdekar, sons of BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar. They were allotted tenements in 1999 and 2008 respectively. The list reflected 62 families wherein two members have been allotted tenements and seven families who have been allotted three tenements.
After going through the list of beneficiaries under the CM's discretionary quota, justice Marlapalle remarked, "Where do these (politicians allotted more than one flats) fit in? Under which categories have they been allotted tenements?"
According to another list, there are 3,190 applicants waiting for an allotment since 1989.