Shivaji Kale, a member of the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society and a close aide of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, has denied allegations that he was holding any benami properties.
In an affidavit filed in reply to the public interest litigation by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, Kale maintained he had valid and legal sources of income and that he had purchased all 75 properties from his and his wife Nirmala’s combined income. He has further claimed all his properties, except for some smaller agricultural properties, reflected in his income tax returns.
Kale also mentioned in the affidavit that he had paid Rs 60.56 lakh in nine instalments between July 13, 2007 and September 28, 2010 for flat no 1603 in Adarsh.
He has, however, denied he had declared monthly income of Rs 12,000 while seeking membership in Adarsh. Kale maintained that he had left the column indicating income blank while filling the membership form for Adarsh. “I did not fill in the figure as I had not applied under the economically weaker section,” his affidavit reads. “Probably some servant / staffer working in the office of Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society inadvertently filled in the said figure,” he added. The division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi had earlier directed Kale to explain the source of income for purchasing 75 immovable properties, including the Adarsh flat. Tirodkar alleged in his PIL that Kale, who is rector of Baramati Hostel at Pune, had given an undertaking before the city collector declaring his monthly income as Rs 12,000.
However, four years later, in December 2008, Kale gave another undertaking before the high court while seeking anticipatory bail in connection with an economic offence pertaining to Ajit Co-operative Bank. This time he declared he and his wife, Nilima, owned 75 immovable properties in Pune.