State needs four weeks time to respond on housing scam PIL
Maharashtra government sought four weeks to file a response to a public interest litigation alleging that six plots of land in Worli in central Mumbai, originally reserved for policemen, were fraudulently allotted to a group of legislators and bureaucrats while the police never got alternative land as promised. The government pleader sought time saying that the home department had to decide on giving alternative land to the three cooperative housing societies Sukhada, Shubada and Poorna — in Worli Sagar complex. The court had earlier issued notices to these societies while hearing the PIL which sought a CID probe. Petitioner, former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, relies on a reply by the Home department to a query under the Right to Information Act. In 1988, the state had acquired six plots in Worli Sagar Society, meant for police housing. It promised police department alternative land in suburban Andheri. But, Tirodkar argues, the land in Ambivali in Andheri was never handed over to the department. He prayed that the Director General of Police (Housing) be directed to evacuate the buildings in Worli Sagar Society and allot the tenements to lowerrank policemen on the basis of seniority. Constables work under difficult conditions such as low salaries, long duty-hours, poor housing facilities, etc and therefore they should be given priority in such benefits, the PIL contends.