Updated: February 25, 2021 12:29:03 am
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya against Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar for the “illegal use of tenements in the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project by misusing her position as a councilor, and thereafter as a mayor, for a company owned by her and her family”.
The PIL has further alleged that the company floated by Pednekar in 2012, from which she resigned and which is currently managed by her son who is the director, had registered its office, as per Registrar of Companies (ROC), in one of the tenements at Gomata Janata SRA Cooperative Society at Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, Lower Parel.
Somaiya claimed that Pednekar has also given her official residential address, for the 2017 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, in one of these tenements, which proves that the allegations in the PIL are valid.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing the PIL by Somaiya, who informed the court that he has filed several complaints to the ROC, Enforcement Directorate, BMC and SRA to report the alleged illegal activities committed by the company and its directors. Somaiya said that the SRA scheme was proposed between the years 2003 and 2007, when Pednekar was a corporator.
According to the PIL, in 2012, Pednekar incorporated the company called Kish Corporate Services Ltd, and set up an office in the SRA building illegally, even when the said rooms were allocated to someone else.
“The company, formed and promoted by Pednekar, is using the said premises for commercial use, whereas the said premises are for residential use and are for the allotment to the eligible slum dwellers,” stated the plea.
“Respondent (Pednekar) misused her power and position to illegally grab properties of eligible slum dwellers to her own benefit and for running commercial activities,” the PIL added.
The PIL has sought from the respondent authorities, including SRA, BMC and Ministry of Corporate Affairs, action against Pednekar and others, and also sought direction to initiate criminal action.
Somaiya has also sought appropriate directions restraining Pednekar from continuing her position as Mayor.
The court has asked respondent authorities and the mayor to respond to the PIL within three weeks, and it will hear the plea next on March 24.
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