Mumbai(web team): The Bombay high court on Wednesday issued notices to the Maharashtra government and the director general of police (housing), seeking their replies on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a probe into the collection of Rs84 crore from 7,000 constables by the home department for housing them in Panvel in Navi Mumbai.
A division bench of justices PV Hardas and Shalini Joshi-Phansalkar issued the notices while hearing the PIL by former journalist Ketan Tirodkarm.
According to the PIL, although 80 acre of the 100 acre-land has been acquired from farmers, no construction has begun nor any information is being passed on to the constables who have paid the amount.
Further, the home department has collected Rs1.2 lakh each from the 7,000 constables in the last few years for the project. A small office has been set up at Worli for implementing this project which has two staff members, including an IAS officer.
The beneficiaries who inquire about the progress of the project are asked the counter-question as to how they could afford to pay Rs1.2 lakh from their salaries. This raises doubt whether they would get the houses, alleges the PIL.
"Many of these 7,000 constables, who have paid money, were on the verge of retirement. None of them has invested elsewhere (in buying house) on the strength of the assurance given by the state home department," the PIL further alleges.
In order to solve the police housing problem, the home department had announced a floor space index (FSI) of 4 for the police accommodation to benefit the developer, the petitioner said.
An affidavit filed by the managing director of Police Housing Corporation earlier and two other PILs filed by Tirodkar reveal the list of plots taken away by bureaucrats and politicians. "Judicial intervention is therefore necessary in this case," the petition states.
Tirodkar has also quoted the reply he got under the RTI which said that six plots of land in Worli Sagar Police Cooperative Housing Society, which were reserved for police housing, were allotted to housing societies of MLAs and police officers in 1988.
Later, the state assured that land admeasuring 48,560 square metres would be given in Andheri in lieu of this plot. However, no such land has been allotted yet, he said.
The PIL has sought a probe by the Crime Investigation Department (CID), the PIL has sought that an offence of cheating be lodged against the persons in the corridors of power who took the decision.