Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra government to file its reply on a PIL alleging corruption in allotment of public parking lots by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Minister of State for Urban Development Department (UDD) Bhaskar Jadhav.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha asked Advocate General Darius Khambata to file an affidavit by June 30 while hearing a PIL filed by social activist Pravin Wategaonkar.
Wategaonkar on Wednesday submitted an additional affidavit pointing out that if the government had earned a revenue of Rs 200 crore by clearing allotments of five parking lots then why it was not taking a decision on 16 other proposals when the drought affected state is in requirement of funds.
The PIL alleges that the Chief Minister and the UDD minister in connivance with each other have been charging exorbitant amounts for sanctioning proposals for allotment of public parking lots.
"There should be forensic audit of books of accounts of these developers to bring to light the bribes already paid for clearing these proposals," the PIL said.
Wategaonkar obtained information under the RTI Act which revealed that the government cleared three proposals for parking lots on June 20 last year, a day before the Mantralaya was gutted in fire.
He had had sought information on parking lot allotments from November 1, 2010 to January 30, 2013. The urban development department in its reply stated that the 21 proposals were submitted to the UDD and CM office. Of these, only five were sanctioned, while 16 are pending for approval.
The department, however, said it could not give more details as the files were destroyed in the fire.