Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked Maharashtra Government to spell out its stand on a PIL filed against senior NCP leader and Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare and his family members over allegations of amassing disproportionate assets totalling several crores.
The PIL has also named various government agencies for aiding Tatkare and his kin in land grabbing and money laundering.
The Government Counsel Abhinandan Vagyani sought time to seek instructions, following which a bench headed by Justice A M Khanvilkar gave the state liberty to file an affidavit on the issue.
The PIL, filed by BJP leaders Kirit Somaiya and Madhav Bhandari, also prayed for constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of the high court to probe the matter in a specified time-frame.
Tatkare`s counsel Aspi Chinoy and Aniket Nikam, raised a preliminary objection to the maintainability of the petition saying the petitioners should have first approached the police with a complaint. How can they come to the court directly to seek constitution of an SIT to probe the allegations?, they asked.
Adjourning the matter to October 12, the bench asked Tatkare to file an affidavit-in-reply within a week.
The 300-page PIL named 31 respondents and alleged that all of them have colluded or conspired with each other and allegedly indulged in money laundering, parking of scam money, benami holdings and forming a web of companies.
The PIL further alleged that Tatkare had abused his official position to form companies in the names of his relatives and employees. Even Tatkare`s gardener had nine companies in his name, it alleged.