Mumbai: Terming as "false, malicious and frivolous", Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare on Friday urged the Bombay High Court to dismiss a PIL filed by former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya seeking probe into alleged money laundering and land grabbing by the minister.
Tatkare has alleged that the PIL has been filed "due to political rivalry and is politically motivated".
"The allegations made by the petitioner in the PIL are completely false and devoid of any factual basis. The bald and vague allegations of corruption are motivated and does not in fact make out any case of corruption or of commission of any criminal offences," Tatkare said in an affidavit.
The affidavit was filed in reply to the PIL as per directions of the High Court earlier.
Somaiya, in his petition, had sought a probe by a special investigation team into alleged money-laundering and land grabbing by various companies floated by Tatkare and his family.
The petition has listed 51 companies formed by the minister with his family members and friends as directors and charged that they had allegedly purchased benami lands in Maharashtra and also indulged in money laundering, thereby causing losses to the public exchequer.
"It has been alleged that my family and other associates have floated and purchased several companies, which have acquired large land holdings. It has also been alleged that these benami companies have been shown favouritism by manipulation in tendering processes and awarding of contracts. This allegation is totally false and vague," Tatkare said.
He further refuted allegations that the companies are benami and owned and financed by him. "The records and finances of these companies are in public domain and have been filed with the Registrar of Companies," the affidavit states.
It further terms as "malicious" the allegations of corruption in the Irrigation Department, which Tatkare was heading in November 2010.