Published On : Sat, Aug 12th, 2017

CM Devendra Fadnavis orders probe against Mehta, Desai

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a Lokayukta probe into allegations of corruption against Housing Minister Prakash Mehta on Friday.

The CM also announced that an independent inquiry will be conducted into allegations against Industries Minister Subhash Desai.

Refusing to accept resignations from both ministers, Fadnavis announced on the last day of the Monsoon Session in the state Assembly that despite clarifications made by the minister and himself, he was going ahead with instituting an inquiry.

After Opposition parties continued demanding resignation of both ministers, Fadnavis said, “I will not ask them to go home just because of the Opposition’s allegations. You would do the same to me. Should we leave the Cabinet is such a manner?”

The CM said an inquiry into allegations against Radheshyam Mopalwar will be conducted by a joint special investigating team (SIT), comprising senior bureaucrats and economic offences wing officers.

Speaking in the legislative council, Fadnavis said an inquiry into allegations against RTI activist Sandip Yeole will be conducted by the economic offences wing and anti-corruption bureau.

Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, NCP leader Jayant Patil and former CM Prithviraj Chavan were the most vocal against the tainted ministers.
Fadnavis said as far as the Prakash Mehta case was concerned, the building was owned by one Deenabai Dinshaw Patel in 1935. It was later handed over for maintenance to the state government by the Defence ministry, which had acquired it in 1946. He said the requisite permissions for its construction on city survey number 725 were given between 1999 and 2014. Fadnavis said the additional FSI of 25 square meters was given despite knowing that construction was complete and it was not possible to use additional FSI in the same building. Fadnavis also answers to why permission was given in 2009 for additional FSI and all related aspects would come to the fore after the inquiry.

As far as allegations against Desai are concerned, Fadnavis said, “Of the total 16,909 hectares of land denotified so far, 9,335 hectares was denotified during thhe tenure of previous governments. Under 32(1), only 31.54 hectares was denotified, with 30 hectares denotified according to a Bombay High Court order. An inquiry will still be conducted as we believe in transparency.’