The state government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that it would initiate criminal prosecution against those who obtained double or multiple flats under the Chief Minister’s (CM) discretionary quota by providing false information.
The state also told Justices A S Oka and A S Chandurkar that even if such flats were sold by the beneficiaries and market price was recovered by the government, prosecution against such beneficiaries would not be withdrawn.
S K Salimath, Deputy Secretary of Urban Development Department, through an affidavit, told the court that the government had recently accepted a letter written by Apoorva Javdekar, son of Union Minister Prakash Javdekar, on August 30, 2010, offering to surrender a flat allotted to him under the quota.
“The state government has, on reconsideration, decided that the allotments of second tenement to any ‘double allottee’ will be cancelled and if any beneficiary has sold out one of the two tenements allotted to him, then market price of such tenement would be recovered from him. The government has also decided to initiate criminal proceedings against ‘double allottees’ for submitting false affidavit before the state government,” Salimath said in the affidavit.
The state, in the new affidavit, withdrew its earlier statement to stop criminal prosecution against an illegal beneficiary, who would pay the state government an equal amount of the tenements as per ready reckoner rates.
The state, in its earlier affidavit, had stated, “In a case where a beneficiary fails to surrender the tenement in the prescribed period, an FIR will be registered under Sections 420 (offences relating to cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 181 (false statement on oath or affirmation to public servant or person authorised to administer an oath or affirmation) of the IPC, and the allotment of the tenement will be cancelled. However, if such beneficiary, after the initiation of criminal proceeding, surrenders one of the two tenements allotted to him or having sold both such tenements pays the government an amount equal to the sale price of the second tenements as per the ready reckoner, then the criminal action would be withdrawn against the beneficiary.”
Government pleader Jayesh Yagnik on Tuesday informed the court that the state had stopped making further allotments under the CM’s quota as directed by the court.
The court had on May 2, 2014, raised questions over the stance of the state government while dealing with cases of multiple allotment of flats to beneficiaries under the quota. While asking the state to prepare a clear policy, the court questioned how the state could “withdraw prosecution” against beneficiaries if there was a case of cheating made out.
The court had passed the remark after going through the UDD’s earlier affidavit, which stated that in one case the beneficiary had sought surrender of the illegal tenement by making an application. “This application is under consideration,” read the UDD affidavit.
The HC then posed two major queries – withdrawal of prosecution against the beneficiary if he/she pays the amount after selling the illegal tenements, and “consideration” of the application of a beneficiary seeking surrender of the illegal flat.
The court, while acting on a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar, on Tuesday asked the state government to file a compliance report in relation to its March 20 order by June 23. The order had set aside the policies for allotment of houses to beneficiaries under the quota.
Tirodkar, in his PIL, alleged that the government had not prosecuted those who were allotted two or more flats, either by filing an FIR or cancelling their allotments.