Order Probe Into Land Allotments to Ministers' Trusts: PIL

Order Probe Into Land Allotments to Ministers' Trusts: PIL
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Bombay High Court today sought direction to the Charity Commissioner or any other agency to probe the allegations of Ministers influencing Maharashtra Government to allot prime land plots to their trusts at throwaway prices.

The PIL appealed to the HC to set aside the allotment of these lands which had allegedly caused losses to the state exchequer as they were given away at nominal costs to the educational societies floated by Ministers, including Union Minister and former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh.

The PIL, filed by Hemant Patil, President of Rashtriya Bhrashtachar Virodhi Janshakti, is based on CAG report whose purported contents were recently released by Opposition BJP.

According to the PIL, the other Ministers whose names also allegedly appear in the CAG report are Patangrao Kadam, Chhagan Bhujbal, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Narayan Rane.

The PIL, which will come up for hearing in due course, alleged that Deshmukh, in his capacity as Chief Minister, had approved the transfer of 24,000 sq mt of land on preferential basis to his Manjra Education Trust, causing a loss of Rs 24 crore to the state.

The PIL further alleged that Kadam had allotted nearly 20,000 sq mt of land in Pune free of cost to his educational institution Bharti Vidyapeeth although the market value of the plot is Rs 7.8 crore.

Bhujbal allegedly gifted 50,000 sq mt of land in Nashik to his institute, Mumbai Education Trust, causing loss of Rs 9 crore to the state exchequer, the PIL stated.

Similarly, Vikhe-Patil and Rane had allotted plots to their trusts, Dr Vikhe-Patil Foundation and Sindhudurg Sikshan Prasarak, causing losses of Rs 74 lakh and Rs 7 crore respectively, to the state Government, it said.
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