Published On : Wed, Jan 24th, 2018

HC issues notice to Minister of State for Home for misuse of power


Dr Ranjit Patil
Nagpur: Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court comprising of Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice Swapna Joshi has issued notices to Minister of State for Home Dr Ranjeet Patil, Secretary UDD (11)State Government, Nagpur Improvement Trust, Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha Pune, SMG Hospital Pvt Ltd, Wockhardt Hospital Pvt Ltd, Premium Determination Committee, Joint Director Town Planning, District Collector, Chairman NIT.

President of Citizens Forum for Equality, Nagpur Madhukar Kukde had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging misuse and abuse of powers by Minister of State for Home Dr Ranjeet Patil. According to the petitioner Minister had failed to recover the minimum amount of Rs 40.33 crores as directed by the Supreme Court and on the contrary quashed the premium on flimsy reasons.

Earlier, Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha had failed to pay Rs 40.33 crore to Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) as directed by High Court and Supreme Court and therefore NIT has issued a “show cause notice” for cancellation of allotment and forcible recovery of amount.

Adv Tushar Mandlekar argued before the High Court that Minister Dr Ranjeet Patil had misused and abused his powers and has illegally quashed the “premium rightly determined by the committee” u/r 8 {2} of LDR 1983. He argued that the conduct of the Minister amounts to “corrupt practices” and therefore must be probed through retired High Court Judge.

The State Government ought to have started enquiry as directed by High Court. The NIT in fact ought to have challenged the orders of Minister as it had lost revenue of Rs.155/ crores. But total in action on the part of State and NIT compelled the petitioner to approach High Court and seek “judicial probe” in the entire affairs of Rashtrabhasha.

The Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) had calculated and demanded an amount of Rs 163,75,63,688 as “revised premium” and “ground rent” along with interest from original allottee Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha as per the directions issued by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court in PIL filed by Citizens Forum for Equality.

It may be recalled that the High Court while allowing a PIL alleging gross abuse of procedure, illegal allotment of land and its brazen commercial misuse leading to massive revenue loss of Rs 100 crore, had directed State Government and NIT to conduct an enquiry in to the affairs.

The NMC, NIT and UDD were directed to study the documents and examine whether any right over undivided share was conferred upon any of the occupants including Wockhardt Hospitals. Joint Charity Commissioner was also directed to audit whether Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha earned more income. No enquiry is yet conducted by State Government.

Adv Tushar Mandlekar argued for the petitioner. Adv Sumant Deopujari, Government Pleader waived notices for State government.