THE state government on Friday told the Bombay High Court that it was considering a policy under which one person, including bureaucrats and judges, will be allotted only one flat in the entire state at a point of time under state-sponsored schemes. The court was hearing a petition filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar, questioning the government’s decision to construct a high-rise for sitting HC judges.
On August 31, 2015, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had sanctioned a housing scheme for serving judges on a 32,300-sq ft plot in Oshiwara, following a request made in this regard by the proposed cooperative housing society of judges. While construction is yet to begin, the government has offered 84 flats, each of 1,076-sq ft, on ownership basis to the judicial officers. Tirodkar had argued before the court that the flats have not only been allotted to sitting judges but also to those who have retired from the Bombay High Court or those who have been promoted to the Supreme court.
On Friday, a division bench of Justice B R Gavai and Justice Bharati Dangre said that bureaucrats and judicial officers should be allotted only one flat in the entire state. To this, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed the court of the government’s plan in this regard. Kumbhakoni also told court that if the person, who will have one flat at one point of time in the state, wants to another house in the state, he will have to surrender the previously allotted house under the government scheme.
The court said that an individual, may be a judge or a bureaucrat, if he has a flat under a government scheme, then he is not entitled to another flat in the state. “We understand one flat is required. Everyone is answerable to their family. Everyone cannot be Mahatma Gandhi,” Justice Gavai said. The court will hear the matter next in June.