A specially constituted division bench, comprising Justice Prasanna Varale and Justice Zaka Haq, on Wednesday informed the lawyers – Anand Parchure and Bhanudas Kulkarni – that they would deliver the verdict.
A former MLA Sunil Shinde had filed the petition through Parchure alleging large-scale irregularities in the allotment of plots distributed under the ULCA. He claimed that allotment of surplus land under ULCA was done in an arbitrary manner to influential persons.
Shinde pointed out that surplus land was meant to be allotted for industries or residential purposes and its use was clearly defined. Those plots were certainly not meant for educational institutions, he said, while demanding immediate cancellation of all such allotments.
Justice RK Batta Commission, set up to probe the irregularities after the scam was exposed, had recommended cancellation of the allotments. In its 1,375-page report, the panel highlighted several irregularities in allotments made to various institutions allegedly run by former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, ex-guardian minister Nitin Raut and his predecessors — Shivajirao Moghe and Satish Chaturvedi, former animal husbandry minister Anees Ahmed, former minister Vinod Gudadhe Patil, and ex-MLA Raje Satyawan Rao among others.
Justice Batta scrutinised over 100 allotments and found that in most of the cases, the officials had flouted rules to entertain politicians. He made some recommendations as well regarding precautions to be taken to prevent such irregularities.
Expressing deep anguish over brazen irregularities committed by government officials while allotting huge tracts of land to institutions controlled by political heavyweights, Justice Batta had suggested that those responsible for irregularities and flouting norms should be brought before the law.