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Lokayukta finds substance in allegations against Prakash Mehta, CM may not depose

The Lokayukta has written to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, informing them that he is inclined to conduct an investigation in the case.

mumbai Updated: Nov 23, 2017 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,Lokayukta,CM Devendra Fadnavis
The Lokayukta has written to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, informing them that he is inclined to conduct an investigation in the case. (FILE)

htmetro@hindustantimes.com

State Lokayukta ML Tahiliyani, in his preliminary investigation, has found substance in the allegations of corruption and irregularities against state housing minister Prakash Mehta.

The Lokayukta has written to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, informing them that he is inclined to conduct an investigation in the case. The CM, however, may not have to depose before Lokayukta, sources said. Mehta has been asked to offer his comments by December 6.

Taking note of the allegations, the governor on September 6 ordered an investigation by state Lokayukta on the request made by CM. The Lokayukta was asked to look into permissions granted by Mehta for the slum rehabilitation scheme at MP Mill compound, Tardeo.

In the present case, it is necessary to determine whether the minister has abused his position as public servant to obtain gain for developer or was actuated by improper motives, the Lokayukta report said.

The Lokyukta has found the housing minister’s approval to a proposal of the slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) to use section 3K of Slum Act – which allows extra building rights to be transferred to a scheme for project affected persons (PAP) -- improper. The housing minister should have rejected the proposal as the section empowers the state to issue directives related to policy making and cannot be used for a particular case, the Lokayukta said in the report.

The approval resulted in benefit of extra sale component of 10255.88 square metres, it pointed out.

Fadnavis wants his name to be cleared from the controversy and had already conveyed to Lokayukta that he has no objection in giving his statement before the authority. “Considering the documentary evidences, CM Fadnavis may not require to depose before Lokayukta once the investigation starts,” said a senior official privy to the development.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 23:29 IST