A day after Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil raked up a political controversy by questioning the transfer of the flats willed by two former MLAs to Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan’s daughters, his own department said it found no fault in the transactions. The revenue department has recorded on the file that both the transactions were valid. The state’s law department, whose opinion had been sought in the matter, too, found no irregularity in the transfer, confirmed high level sources in the government.
Former Congress MLAs Baburao Auralkar-Patil and Narayan Heramb Patil, who were both considered loyalists of the Chavan family, had willed their respective flats on the tenth floor of Worli’s high-profile ‘Shubhada’ society to Ashok Chavan’s twin daughters Srijaya and Sujaya.
While one of them had executed a will in favour of one daughter, the other one had named the second daughter in his will. Incidentally, both the wills were of identical nature. Both the MLAs, now deceased, had equated Chavan’s daughters as their own great-grand daughters, while wishing that their rights, title, and interest in their respective flats be transferred on their name following their demise.
Accordingly, Chavan’s family had three years ago approached the housing society for transferring the two flats, each measuring 1,076 square feet carpet, be transferred in the names of Srijaya and Sujaya, respectively. Later, the family even obtained a probate for these wills from the court.
A prior approval from the Mumbai Collector’s office is mandatory for transferring membership in the housing society, which stands on a government-owned land. Accordingly, an application was moved to the Mumbai Collector to allowing the transfer. While the Collector has previously permitted transfer of ownership of flats in the same society through a deed of transfer, since this was a case where the ownership was being transferred by way of a will, the Collector’s office had referred the matter to the revenue department, asking whether the transfer fees was payable in such cases too.
The Chavan family had contended that the transfer fee was not payable in this case. On Monday, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil had targeted Chavan, questioning the transactions made in the favour of his daughters, which the latter slammed as political vendetta. With civic elections scheduled in Chavan’s bastion of Nanded Wednesday, Patil’s accusation was perceived in political circles as a move to catch the former chief minister off guard.
The ploy, however, appears to have backfired, with the state’s bureaucracy finding that both the transactions were in order. In fact, sources confirmed that following the law department’s opinion, Patil’s revenue department too concurred that transfer fees were not applicable in either case.
Another point missing from Patil’s narrative Monday was that the case of Chavan’s daughter wasn’t the only one of its kind that was under consideration. The sources said another former MLA (now deceased), Ratanlal Tapadiya, has similarly willed his flat in the same housing society to one Anand Ramchandra Naik. The law and the revenue departments had submitted a favourable opinion in this case too.