Mumbai: Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Government to explain its stand on a petition alleging that ex-Sheriff Indu Shahani still continued to enjoy privileges even though the post of Sheriff of Mumbai lying vacant for last few years.
Justice S F Vajifdar yesterday asked the government to explain what is the actual position in regard to the appointment of Sheriff of Mumbai in the last few years.
The matter was fixed for hearing tomorrow.
The petition alleged that Indu Shahani, Principal of H R College of Commerce, whose term as Sheriff of Mumbai expired in 2009, has been holding on to the post till date as no other person has been nominated for this position.
The petition alleged that Shahani was operating her private website called "sheriffofmumbai.Com. The name of the public post and Government seal (Rajmudra) is found on her website. The use of Government seal on website without any authority of law is an offence, the petition, filed by Haresh Lokegaonkar, a management consultant, claimed.
Even on the official website of H R College, where Shahani is the Principal, it is displayed on the front page "Sheriff of Mumbai--The Principal". This showed that she is still using the public post for personal benefit, the petition further alleged.
The petitioner contended that the post of Sheriff was a apolitical titular position of authority bestowed on a good citizen of Mumbai for a period of one year. The Sheriff is appointed by a Committee headed by the Chief Minister.
The petitioner further contended that he was also interested in becoming Sheriff of Mumbai and with that intention he had visited the Chief Minister`s office in the past but his plea was not entertained.
The Court was urged to restrain Shahani from functioning in the post and direct the Government to forthwith appoint a new person.