The Bombay High Court Wednesday permitted Public Works Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his family to intervene in a petition alleging misappropriation of funds from the Mumbai Education Trust (MET) he heads,and other irregularities related to the Trust.
This will allow Bhujbal and his family to put forward their stand in court.
A division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice A R Joshi said the allegations having been made against Bhujbal and his family,they should be heard before any order is passed.
The petition by MET vice-chairman Sunil Karve alleges that Bhujbal misappropriated Rs 177 crore from the Trust. He also accused him of illegally occupying an entire floor of one of the Trusts properties in Bandra Reclamation for the use of his family.
Karve,a founder-trustee of MET,had demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the matter.
Bhujbal and his sons Pankaj and Sameer had filed intervention applications.
In July last year,the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police had told the HC that no cognizable offence has been made out against Bhujbal or his family and that there was no need to file an FIR.
Subsequent to this,the High Court had admitted the petition filed by Karve for final hearing.
A public interest litigation by activist Balasaheb Jambhulkar alleging financial irregularities by the Trust is also pending in court.
According to the petition,expenses reserved for Technology Development Fund and Student Activity Fund have not been spent on the stated purpose. These expenses are said to amount to about Rs 76 lakh. The petition also claims the Trust charges excess fees from students by misleading the government committee that sets fee rules.