Court Tells Govt To File Report On Misuse Of Urban Land Ceiling Act
(Hindustan Times, October 08, 2010)
Complete the examination of 29 of the 235 files on orders passed under the Land Ceiling Act by allegedly using fake documents, the high court on Thursday asked retired IAS officer Sudhakar Joshi. Joshi was appointed by the state government to examine more than 235 orders passed under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, 1976, by allegedly using fabricated documents. A division bench of justices BH Marlapalle and UD Salvi asked Joshi to submit a report by October 14. Ravi Kadam, advocate general, informed the court that Joshi will complete the examination of the 29 files within a week and the Urban Development Department may take decision on the same.
On September 15, Joshi had told the court that he has been able to examine only 120 files. The high court subsequently asked the government to select 29 files as model cases for examination on priority basis.
The court is hearing a PIL filed by Madhav Bhandari, Bhartiya Janata Party spokesperson, claiming that Yogesh Mhase, officer on special duty to then home minister RR Patil, and some government officials were not arrested in a case of alleged fabrication of documents under the act.
The PIL stated that between 1976 and March 2005, 11,894 returns [statement of property extracts and details of persons having interest in the land] were filed in the Pune urban agglomeration. The probe was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department in November 2005.
In response to the PIL, on October 5, Thane police commissioner SPS Yadav had filed an affidavit that the investigating officer, Avinash Mokashi, had falsely implicated government officials and made allegations against senior police officials because he was transferred out of the Crime Investigation Department.
Yadav also gave a clean chit to Mhase saying that there was no evidence against him. Mokashi is now posted at the Badlapur police station.
Ashish Chavan, Mokashi’s advocate, told the court that he will file an affidavit by next hearing. Ganesh Sovani, petitioner’s counsel requested the court that former Pune commissioner, Jayant Umranikar, be asked to file an affidavit.