Close on the heels of a report in The Indian Express that MHADA had asked Mumbai police to investigate a case of 13 widows of Indian Army soldiers allegedly duped of low-cost houses in Mumbai they had won in a lottery, another case has come to fore.
Kalyani Mahadeo Khatate (32) of Alandi village, widow of paratrooper Mahadeo Khatate, who was allotted an affordable house by MHADA in Bimbisar Nagar in Goregaon, Mumbai, in 2009, has not been able to take possession of the flat. The flat is occupied by one Shivaji Bandu Jagtap as of November 2013 despite repeated representations by Khatate and Army authorities.
According to Khatate, it all started in 2008-09 when Jagtap approached her claiming she could participate in a MHADA lottery meant for widows of ex-servicemen. Her husband was killed fighting terrorists in the north and was decorated with Sena Medal (gallantry) on August 15, 2002. “I submitted all documents and even got a call from MHADA that I have been allotted a flat in the scheme,” said Khatate. She even paid Rs 9.64 lakh towards the flat.
According to the documents produced by Khatate — which are a part of the complaint forwarded by her to the housing agency — MHADA allotted flat no 503 in building no 31/ B to her on July 1, 2009. She took possession of the flat on November 9, 2009. However, an irrevocable power of attorney dated November 18, 2009, shows that Khatate made Jagtap the power of attorney. Notable is the fact that this irrevocable power of attorney was made on a stamp paper purchased on May 22, 2009 — even before MHADA allotted the flat to Khatate. According to her, Jagtap — an agent — has been occupying the flat ever since it was ready to move into.
“Jagtap took possession of the flat by forging documents. When asked to vacate, he didn’t respond. I request that the tenement be handed over to me in police protection,” Khatate wrote to MHADA in 2012. Her case was also taken up by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of the state as well as HQ M and G Area under HQ, Southern Command, but to no avail.
Niranjankumar Sudhanshu, vice-chairman and chief officer of MHADA, said: “There have been a few cases in the past and we have conducted investigations and dealt with them. But the lottery process has become transparent over the past three years. The possession of flats is given to allottees in person. If she took possession and then gave the tenement to someone else, it is her responsibility. If it is forceful occupation, she should approach the police. Forgery of the document is also a civil matter. We will look into the case and offer help.”