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PIL filed in HC against Matunga MLA Jagannath Shetty

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Dec 8 (UNI) A public interest litigation has been filed before the Bombay High Court against Matunga's sitting MLA Jagannath Shetty alleging that there is a huge fraud, cheating and misappropriation of funds allotted for construction and repair of public toilets in the slum areas of the constituency.

The PIL has been filed by Nirmal Thakur, sub-editor of 'Nirbhay Pathik', a Hindi daily published at Mumbai and will come up for hearing in due course.

The petitioner has further submitted that it is a plot involving the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority officials as well as engineers with the knowledge of the MLA.

The PIL further states that on information got through Right to Information Act, the petitioner found out that a huge number of toilets existing on the MHADA records were never constructed and some that were repaired were charged for new construction. Also, some previously existing toilets were shown as newly constructed on record. While a few had minor repair work, more number were shown on record as repaired.

The main work is carried out through the National Slum Development Programme and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.

According to the petitioner, public money to the tune of Rs two crore five lakhs has been shown as expenses for construction and repair of toilets. A huge sum of money from this has been taken away on grounds of fake work and pocketed by the various corrupt officials very systematically and with the knowledge of the MLA. In fact, Shetty too is party in the scam, the petitioner alleged.

The petitioner submitted that the general public residing in the slums depends on these public toilets to meet their primary needs.

This scam affects the weaker section of the society and hence sought investigation in the matter through an independent agency - Central Bureau of Investigation or the Crime Branch.

''The petitioner complained to the Chief Secretary of State, Vice President of MHADA as well as the Commissioner of Police, but no action was taken,'' petitioner's lawyer K T Thomas said.


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