CM quota flat allotment files missing: Maha tells HC
Over 1,300 files, pertaining to the allotment of flats since 1982 to beneficiaries from Chief Minister's housing quota, have gone missing, the Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.
"At least 1,300 files of the Housing Department alone are missing," public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik told Justices Abhay Oka and <g data-gr-id="24">Reveti</g> Mohite-<g data-gr-id="25">Dhere</g>, who were hearing a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar alleging irregularities in allotment of flats under CM's housing quota.
This prompted the Bench to ask why the government had not informed about the 'missing' files in October 2014, when it had passed an order, appointing retired Judge JA Patil to probe alleged irregularities in the allotment of flats under the discretionary housing quota since 1982.
To this, the prosecutor said the officers concerned were not aware of the missing files that time. Not satisfied with the answer, the Bench said the only way to solve the problem would be to take contempt action against the guilty.
The prosecutor informed the court that 1,200 beneficiaries had surrendered flats on account of irregularities or in cases of double allotment of houses. Besides, police had taken action against 300 such beneficiaries, he said. "This shows the magnitude of the irregularities," the Bench said.
About 1,200 houses are now available to the government for allotment to people, the Judges said, adding that they had passed orders on the PIL earlier as the government had not taken any action on the alleged irregularities. Though the probe has not concluded, many beneficiaries have surrendered the flats allotted to them.
Govt seeks HC nod for auto, taxi fare hike
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday sought the Bombay High Court's approval for the proposed auto and taxi fare hike announced by the Mumbai Metropolitan Road Transport Authority (<g data-gr-id="38">MMRTA</g>). The authority had proposed a hike in the basic fare for autos and taxis. The fare for autos will go up from Rs 17 to Rs <g data-gr-id="37">18,</g> while taxi fare will go up from Rs 21 to Rs 22. The hike will come into effect only after the meters of over 1.05 lakh autos and over 35,000 taxis in the city are re-calibrated.