Gilani panel dubs PU allotments ‘Unfair, unjust, arbitrary’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Sep 2018 10:23:33


 

Staff Reporter,

 


Panel recommends to take back possession of 20 vacant plots Act tough against violators, don’t spare commercial exploiters


Recommendations

Evolve a fair procedure for allotment Ban on allotment of

land to caste-based organisations Zero tolerance towards

misuse or deviation of purpose

Re-possession of vacant plots

Stern action against violators Strict action against

unauthorised construction Evolve policy for use of 24 acre land encroached by an illegal slum

Action as per law in two pending matters involving 5.6 acre and 5 plots

 

“Precious land worth crores of rupees in the heart of city of Nagpur has been allotted free of cost, that too, for the purpose different from the purpose for which it was earmarked. Present and future generations are the victims of unwarranted, unpredictable, unfair, unjust and arbitrary decision of the public authorities,” observed Justice (retd) M N Gilani panel, while lashing out at Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) for causing ‘irreparable loss’ by allotting prime public utility plots to a chosen few ignoring all norms in most non-transparent manner.


In his hard-hitting report running into 121 pages, Justice Gilani found irregularity in practically every allotment and lambasted NIT, which was the Planning Authority for Nagpur till February 2002, for “frustrating the very objective of Development Plan” and becoming a mute spectator to brazen commercial misuse of the PU plots by politically influential allottees. The panel has recommended constituting a panel to streamline allotment of PU plots in a just and fair manner to ensure its proper use and to preserve natural resources like open spaces, play grounds and to maintain green cover of the city.


Gilani panel found deviation and misuse in 113 Public Utility plots and in 20 cases despite allotment, the prime land remained vacant. The panel has suggested NIT to immediately take possession of these 20 plots and also recommended re-investigation in some allotment cases. The panel also found that out of 305 PU plots allotted to various institutions, only 61 allottees informed the Charity Commissioner about receipt of such a land from NIT and thus around 250 allottees have violated the mandatory provision of Maharashtra Public Trust Act and rules framed thereunder.


This concealment and refusal to disclose income leads to an adverse inference, the report stated while recommending in-depth probe particularly as to why for years, the income derived from such land was not divulged.


The panel has also recommended that all allottees should mandatorily display that plot is allotted at concessional rate for a particular public purpose so that there should be constant social audit of every allotment. Besides for schools and educational institutions established on PU plots, Justice Gilani has recommended at least 5 per cent seats in particular course, sanctioned intake or actual intake. Besides for hospitals established on PU plots, at least 10 per cent beds should be reserved for patients belonging to economically weaker section and subsidised treatment should be provided to them.


About re-possession of 20 vacant plots, Gilani panel has recommended to utilise the same for parks, play-ground, reading rooms, libraries, centres for senior citizens instead of handing them over to “unscrupulous elements.”
It may be recalled that the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had appointed Justice (Retd) M N Gilani vide orders dated October 4, 2017 and December 6, 2017 to probe allotment of 85 PU plots situated in prime localities by NIT in improper and irregular manner to prominent politicians and those close to power circle on a PIL filed by a vigilant citizen Anil Wadpalliwar on the basis of a 28-part news-series by The Hitavada exposing bunglings in NIT.


Justice Gilani scrutinised all the files very minutely and found shocking discrepancies in allotment of practically every allotment. Infact, he had personally verified the post-allotment use of every PU plots with the help of two retired judicial officers and found that in practically every case, there is brazen misuse of PU plot by the allottees.


It may be recalled that then NIT Chairman Dr Deepak Mhaisekar in his affidavit had admitted that some past and present senior officers of NIT were responsible for shady deals in allotting public utility lands and its subsequent misuse by political big-wigs to mint money. The NIT Chairman after verifying all 85 files pertaining to PU plots in city reached to a prima-facie finding that “there are some lapses on the part of superannuated and present officers of Nagpur Improvement Trust.”


In a cryptic affidavit filed before the High Court the NIT informed that initially show cause notices were issued to 19 superannuated and present officers and this number may vary in due course of time.