Governor said no to more members on Chitale committee,govt tells HC

Sangola-based Uttamrao Ghatule had moved the High Court seeking the appointment of a committee to probe the scam or handing it over to the CBI.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 8, 2014 6:07 pm

The state government Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that the Governor had decided not to appoint additional members to the Madhav Chitale Committee probing an alleged irrigation scam worth Rs 70,000 crore. Sangola-based Uttamrao Ghatule had moved the High Court seeking the appointment of a committee to probe the scam or handing it over to the CBI.

His lawyer Machchindra Patil had argued that the Chitale committee appointed in December 2012 had no independent members. It currently comprises four members: Chitale,A K D Jadhav of the finance department,Krishna Lavekar,retired commissioner of agriculture,and V M Ranade,retired secretary of the irrigation department.

“Letters have been sent to the government by the opposition making allegations against the members of the committee and so there should also be independent members,” Patil said. On June 24,the court had asked the state government to seek the Governor’s response on whether he would appoint two members to the committee.

“The committee has already collected all the information and it will now be visiting the sites. A report should be submitted by December 31,” Advocate General Darius Khambata said. Following the state government’s submission,the court disposed of the PIL.

Ghatule said over the last 10 years only 1-2 per cent of the allocated funds for irrigation have been utilised for the sanctioned purpose while the remaining funds,to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore,have been misappropriated.

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