By Accommodation Times
Bombay High Court on 23rd June announced 28th July date for final hearing on a PIL against double or multiple allotment of houses from the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s discretionary quota. A bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, hearing the PIL filed by Ketan Tirodkar an activist, instructed him to file an additional affidavit within a week and ordered the state to file further affidavit on July 25.
The directions came a week after the government informed the HC that it had stopped allotting houses from the CM’s quota in keeping with the court’s order scrapping the state’s policy on the issue. The state had informed the court last week that those who secured flats from the CM’s discretionary quota on the basis of false declaration about not owning a house will now face prosecution.
In an affidavit, the government informed the bench about rescinding its decision to withdraw prosecution against double allottees if they surrendered one of the houses or, in case the flats had been sold, return the proceeds to the government equivalent to market value of the property.
On March 20, the high court had struck down the state’s policy for allotment of houses to the beneficiaries under the CM’s quota. Describing the policy as “illegal, irrational and unfair”, the court had asked the state to frame a new policy which should be transparent and fair.
The bench had also restrained the state from making further allotments from the CM’s quota under the policy struck down by the court.
The court had observed in its March 20 order that the chief minister had “absolute and unfettered” discretion in allotment of houses, which was not fair. Members of the public should be informed that such schemes were available for them, it had said.
Under the CM’s discretionary quota, flats were being allotted to various categories of people such as freedom fighters, artists, sports persons, journalists and government employees.