The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) informed the Bombay High Court Thursday that prima facie there was some substance found in the allegations of disproportionate assets against MLA Vijay Kumar Gavit and his family.
The NCP leader, who was medical education minister in the Congress-NCP government, was recently dropped from the cabinet after his daughter Heena Gavit joined the BJP and was fielded from Nandurbar Lok Sabha constituency.
The ACB’s affidavit was filed n Thursday in connection to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking Gavit’s prosecution. A division bench of Justices A S Oka and A A Sayed was told by the ACB that after conducting a discreet inquiry into the assets of Gavit and his family, it had found material against them and submitted a proposal to the state government on March 5.
The ACB said the proposal sought permission for an open inquiry against the minister. However, the permission is still awaited, according to the affidavit.
The court asked the government to decide on the permission within six weeks.
The bench had earlier asked the minister to file an affidavit by March 7, declaring sources of income from which he purchased properties by paying cash as alleged in the PIL.
Observing that Gavit had failed to file an affidavit, the court offered him a “last chance” to explain within four weeks the sources of his income from which he had bought those properties.
The PIL was Thursday admitted by the bench, which deferred the hearing till June for further interim relief.
Petitioner’s lawyer Uday Warunjikar said Gavit’s father was a teacher in Nandurbar. Gavit himself had worked as a lecturer until 1994. His last monthly salary in June 1994 was Rs 9,715, according to the petitioners who are Nashik-based activists.
He was elected as MLA in 1994 and made Tribal Development minister. Warunjikar, however, said the information acquired through the Right To Information Act showed Gavit having personal assets of Rs 1.3 crore, and his family’s assets in the name of wife and daughters were worth Rs 1.5 crore.
“Nomination papers filed by Gavit in 2009 showed his assets at Rs 2.23 crore and his family’s at Rs 4.78 crore,” said Warunjikar.