The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) locked the offices of five political heads of the regional boards of the authority on Thursday.
The moves follows a report in Thursday’s edition of Hindustan Times that the political heads continued to function from their offices despite their term ending six months ago.
The authority has also seized the official vehicles belonging to these officers.
The board heads who have faced the music are — Ramesh Keer (Konkan), Kiran Shinde (Nasik), Kalyan Kale (Aurangabad), Vasudha Deshmukh (Amravati) and Naresh Maheshwari (Nagpur). These leaders are members of the ruling Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.
Following the action, activists are now demanding that Mhada should recover the cost of using official machinery from the five politicians. Their term had ended on September 2, 2009.
“The government should now recover the dues as these politicians have been illegally using public money,” said Sharad Kumar, Trustee, Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI), the NGO which advocates accountability in public life.
In a similar case, Mhada had recovered about Rs 3.50 lakh from sitting Bandra legislator, Baba Siddique, who was to head the Mumbai board from June 2002 to March 2005. He had continued in the office even after his term expired.
“The state should also examine all the documents signed by these heads in this interim period as all these documents would be deemed as illegal,” Kumar added.
A senior Mhada official, who did not wish to be identified, said that the authority had written to the state government in December 2009 (about the expired tenures) but did not get any reply from Mantralaya.
“How can we direct political appointees? We can only act on the directions of the government.”