BJP leader Raj Purohit seeks to intervene in ULCA scam PIL

Former Maharashtra Minister and city BJP President Raj Purohit on Thursday moved the Bombay High Court seeking to intervene in a PIL on the Urban Land Ceiling Act (ULCA) scam in Pune.

Updated: Feb 18, 2011, 00:41 AM IST

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Minister and city
BJP President Raj Purohit on Thursday moved the Bombay High Court
seeking to intervene in a PIL on the Urban Land Ceiling Act
(ULCA) scam in Pune.
The intervening application moved by Purohit, in the
light of a report tabled by the Government-appointed Sudhakar
Joshi committee indicting him for passing orders under ULCA in
respect of properties in Pune, was mentioned by his lawyers
Niteen Pradhan and Vivekanand Gupta before a bench headed by
Justice B H Marlapalle who posted the matter for hearing on
February 21.

During the pendency of PIL, the government had asked
Sudhakar Joshi to inquire into the controversial files
pertaining to ULC orders, No Objection Certificate orders and
building permissions granted in respect of certain plots in
Pune agglomeration area during the period commencing 1993.

On December 9 last year, a report was tendered by the
state before the High Court wherein certain allegations were
made against Purohit.

Purohit contended that the committee had not given him an
opportunity to explain his stand in regard to the affairs so
handled by him as a quasi judicial authority under the ULC
Act. Being aggrieved, Purohit moved the High Court.

Purohit said the PIL was filed by Madhav Bhandari seeking
a probe into a government order which released properties
covered under ULC Act. He said though crimes were registered
in Pune Police Commissionerate, no inquiry was made.

He alleged that at the Ministerial level certain orders
were passed which directed the stay of warrant issued against
Yogesh Mhase, personal secretary to the then Deputy Chief
Minister R R Patil. During the pendency of PIL, Sudhakar Joshi
was appointed to probe and submit a report.
Purohit, former Minister of state for Urban development,
said he apprehended that the Sudhakar Joshi committee had been
appointed by the state government to dilute the thrust of the
PIL with respect to the action it would be taking against the

He alleged that the government had made use of this
committee with a malafide intention to settle some political
score by not only expanding the terms of reference but also
not following the principles of natural justice.

"The entire exercise appears to be only to protect the
Ministers, officers and staff involved. In the entire scenario
I am being made the victim of circumstances," Purohit alleged.

Purohit contended that his implication in the report was
"politically motivated".

Once it was realised that all former Chief Ministers,
Deputy Chief Ministers and staff were involved in the scam,
the committee enlarged its scope of inquiry only to ensure
that ministers belonging to the period 1995-1999 will also be
charged in the controversy in order to divert public attention
and make the crusader a culprit, he alleged.

Purohit said that during his tenure as a Minister for
Urban development, he had dealt with a number of cases and
appeals. He was also leading an appellate tribunal and
decisions were taken by him on the basis of data provided to
him and advise given by officials of the department.

He said the committee was conducting the inquiry since
the last three years and not even once either a notice was
issued to him or his explanation sought, particularly as he
was a quasi judicial authority during the relevant period.