Millennium Post

ACB tells HC it has prima facie material against Maha minister

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it had found prima facie substance in allegations against Maharashtra Medical Education Minister Vijaykumar Gavit and his family members with regard to disproportionate assets case.

ACB said that on holding a discreet inquiry into the assets of Gavit and his family, it had found material against them and submitted a proposal to the state government on March 5 to seek permission for an open inquiry against the minister.

However, the permission is still awaited, an affidavit filed by ACB in response to a PIL said.

A bench of Justice Abhay Oka had earlier asked the minister to file an affidavit by March 7, declaring sources of income from which he purchased properties by paying cash as alleged in the PIL. As no such affidavit has been filed by Gavit so far, the court gave him one last chance and asked him to explain within four weeks the sources of his income from which he had bought those properties.

As regards the proposal of ACB seeking permission to institute an open inquiry into the assets of Gavit, the court asked the government to decide on the issue within six weeks. The PIL, seeking prosecution of Gavit and his family members, was on Thursday admitted by the bench which deferred the hearing till June for further interim relief.

ACB further informed the court that even before the PIL was filed, several complaints were filed with them against Gavit and his family during the period 2009 to 2012.

Hence, it held a discreet inquiry and found that prima facie there was substance against them with regard to assets disproportionate to known sources of income, ACB said.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar, petitioner’s lawyer, said Gavit’s father was a teacher in Nandurbar. Gavit himself had worked as a lecturer until 1994. His last monthly salary in June 1994 was Rs 9,715, according to the petitioners who are Nashik-based activists.

His brother Sharad worked as a Class-IV employee in Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation. His last drawn salary in 1994 was Rs 1,290. Gavit was elected as MLA in 1994 and made Tribal Development minister. His brother was transferred to the state secretariat as a special officer. Sharad, too, was elected as an MLA from Navapur constituency in 2009.

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