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CM’s housing quota probe: HC slams govt for not giving files

The Bombay High Court on Monday admonished Maharashtra government for delay in hand-over of files to Justice J A Patil Commission probing irregularities in allotment of flats under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota since 1982.

“You cannot take months to give the files,” said the division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka, after reading a complaint filed by N N Kumbhar, Secretary of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the court. “Also, you may have to consider extending the term of the Commission (ending April 30). All this would put a burden on exchequer,” it said, asking the state to hand over the files immediately.

The government lawyer pleaded that the staff was new and the records pertained to a long period (1982 to 2011), so it was taking time.

The bench asked the secretaries of housing and urban development departments to file affidavits in reply by March 9 when the court will fix a time-frame for handing over of the files. Hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar about alleged abuse of the CM’s quota, the High Court had on October 9, 2014 appointed Justice Patil Commission. It ordered the government to make available all relevant records.

The Commission secretary complained that since December 1, the housing department had given only about 500 files out of the total 1,300, while UDD had handed over only 314 out of the 12,000 files, despite reminders.

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