BJP leader files PIL in Bombay HC against Mumbai mayor
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya has filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court (HC) against Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar for acquiring and making personal use of tenements in the Worli Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project by misusing her position as a councillor and mayor.
The PIL has alleged that as the official residential address given by the mayor for the BMC elections 2017, is one of these tenements and a company managed by her son also operates from another tenement meant for residential purposes.
The PIL has sought investigation by concerned authorities and has also sought disqualification of the mayor. The court has asked respondent authorities and the mayor to respond to the PIL within three weeks.
However, when HT tried to contact the mayor, her phone was switched off and her office said that she was not available for comment on the issue.
The division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni, while hearing the PIL, was informed that Somaiya had filed several complaints with the Registrar of Companies (ROC), Enforcement Directorate, BMC and SRA for reporting the illegal activities of the company and its directors. He submitted that though the authorities were aware of the illegalities conducted by Pednekar they had failed to initiate any action against her and hence the PIL.
The PIL alleged that the company operating from one of the tenements was floated by Pednekar in 2012, but she resigned from it and was being managed by her son. Somiaya submitted that as per Registrar of Companies (ROC) records, the company and several other companies were having their registered address as the ground floor tenements of Gomata Janata SRA Cooperative Society, Lower Parel. He added that another tenement on the higher floor was also occupied as a residence by Pednekar since 2008 and she had submitted her official residential address for 2017 BMC elections as the same tenement, which was incidentally allotted in the name of another person.
In view of this, the PIL has sought from the respondent authorities including SRA, BMC and Ministry of Corporate Affairs to initiate action against Pednekar and others and also sought a direction to initiate criminal action against them. Somaiya has also sought to pass appropriate directions restraining Pednekar from continuing her position as Mayor.
After hearing the submissions by Somiaya the court asked the authorities and the mayor to respond to the PIL within three weeks and posted the hearing of the PIL on March 24.