Nagpur/Mumbai: Even as the Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao has asked Lokayukta to investigate into alleged malpractice by state housing minister Prakash Mehta in granting permissions for Slum Rehabilitation Scheme in Mumbai, doubts are still raised whether the investigating agency would be able to ask questions from the Chief Mininster Devendra Fadnavis too. However, the current provision for Lokayukta does not allow it to probe the chief minister.
As per the allegation, Mehta had written a note while clearing a proposal of granting extra floor space index (FSI) to a builder in MP Mill Compound in Tardeo that, he had “consulted with CM Fadnavis before giving permission.” The Opposition had raised questions over the role of Fadnavis in this issue.
On the same controversial file while clearing the proposal for extra FSI, Mr Mehta has mentioned that he had “informed chief minister Fadnavis about the decision.”
Later while clarifying the issue in the Assembly, Mr Mehta owned up to the mistake saying there was confusion about the said noting. “There were 22 files supposed to be taken to CM for consultation. That day, the MP Mill compound file was left in the office and the other 21 files were taken to CM. But, over confusion, I noted the same. In reality, CM was not informed about the decision,” Mr Mehta had said.
To find the exact details, opposition had demanded a probe by a sitting or former judge under the Commission of Inquiry Act, which would have had the powers to call the chief minister for questioning. However, Mr Fadnavis announced a Lokayukta probe.
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had later alleged that the state government opted for a Lokayukta probe in order to save Mr Fadnavis. Though Mr Fadnavis is not required to send the Lokayukta a written explanation, it remains to be seen if he will do the same.