BJP leader Raj Purohit seeks to intervene in ULCA scam PIL

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Mumbai, Feb 17 (PTI) Former Maharashtra Minister and cityBJP President Raj Purohit today moved the Bombay High Courtseeking to intervene in a PIL on the Urban Land Ceiling Act(ULCA) scam in Pune.

The intervening application moved by Purohit, in thelight of a report tabled by the Government appointed SudhakarJoshi committee indicting him for passing orders under ULCA inrespect of properties in Pune, was mentioned by his lawyersNiteen Pradhan and Vivekanand Gupta before a bench headed byJustice B H Marlapalle who posted the matter for hearing onFebruary 21.

During the pendency of PIL, the government had askedSudhakar Joshi to inquire into the controversial filespertaining to ULC orders, No objection Certificate orders andbuilding permissions granted in respect of certain plots inPune agglomeration area during the period commencing 1993.

On December 9 last year, a report was tendered by thestate before the High Court wherein certain allegations weremade against Purohit.

Purohit contended that the committee had not given him anopportunity to explain his stand in regard to the affairs sohandled by him as a quasi judicial authority under ULC Act.

Being aggrieved, Purohit moved the High Court.

Purohit said the PIL was filed by Madhav Bhandari seekinga probe into a government order which released propertiescovered under ULC Act. He said, though crimes were registeredin Pune Police Commissionerate no inquiry was made.

He alleged that at the Ministerial level certain orderswere passed which directed the stay of warrant issued againstYogesh Mhase, personal secretary to the then Deputy ChiefMinister R R Patil. During the pendency of PIL, Sudhakar Joshiwas appointed to probe and submit a report. (More) PTI SVSVKV

Purohit, former Minister of state for Urban development, said he apprehended that the Sudhakar Joshi committee had beenappointed by the state government to dilute the thrust of thePIL with respect to the action it would be taking against theoffenders.

He alleged that the government had made use of thiscommittee with a malafide intention to settle some politicalscore by not only expanding the terms of reference but alsonot following the principles of natural justice.

"The entire exercise appears to be only to protect theMinisters, officers and staff involved. In the entire scenarioI am being made the victim of circumstances," Purohit alleged.

Purohit contended that his implication in the report was"politically motivated". Once it was realised that all formerChief Ministers, Deputy Chief Ministers and staff wereinvolved in the scam, the committee has enlarged its scope ofinquiry only to ensure that ministers belonging to the period1995-1999 will also be charged in the controversy in order todivert public attention and make the crusader a culprit.

Purohit said that during his tenure as a Minister forUrban development, he had dealt with a number of cases andappeals. He was also leading an appellate tribunal anddecisions were taken by him on the basis of data provided tohim and advise given by officials of the department.

He said the committee was conducting the inquiry sincelast three years and not even once either a notice was issuedto him or his explanation sought, particularly as he was aquasi judicial authority during the relevant period.

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