Pune land scam: Ball in state’s court
The state government will decide how to act on the 29 cases of bogus orders passed under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA), 1976, in Pune.mumbai Updated: Nov 20, 2010 01:55 IST
The state government will decide how to act on the 29 cases of bogus orders passed under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA), 1976, in Pune.
As per government norms, no person or organisation can own more than 500 sq mt of land. If they do, they must surrender the surplus land to the government. In the scam, which came to light in 2005, bogus certificates were allegedly given to declare that the land owned by certain individuals was not surplus.
The authorities’ suspicions were first raised when the Pune deputy collector’s office received a fabricated ULCRA certificate declaring a plot at Wakad, near Pune, as non-surplus. When authorities probed the matter, they found out that construction clearances were obtained on the basis of fake non-surplus certificates in several cases.
A public interest litigation alleged that an officer on special duty to Home Minister RR Patil, Yogesh Mhase, was involved in the scam.
His name figured in a case registered by the Pimpri police. Mhase, as deputy collector, allegedly gave permission for non-agricultural use of land on the basis of fake ULCRA clearances.
Retired Indian Administrative Serivce officer Sudhakar Joshi, who was appointed by the government to probe the 29 cases, has completed scrutiny of the files.
Advocate-General Ravi Kadam informed the Bombay High Court on Friday that Joshi had submitted his report to the government.
“We will scrutinise the files and take a decision,” Kadam said.
The Division Bench of Justices BH Marlapalle and RY Ganoo asked Kadam to submit a copy of the report to the court before the next hearing on December 6.
During the last hearing, Kadam had informed the court that the government had already decided to lodge offences in 11 of the 29 cases.
A letter was sent by the Urban Development Department to Pune’s additional collector, sanctioning the filing of eight cases in Pune and three in Pimpri.