Bengal plots for distinguished people under apex court scanner

November 8th, 2010 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday directed the West Bengal government to file an affidavit stating the number of residential plots under the chief minister’s discretionary quota which have not been allotted so far.

“File a short affidavit stating as of date the number of plots under the chief minister’s discretionary quota that have not been allotted so far,” said the apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar.

The court also asked the government to state if it followed any norms in the allotment of residential plots to distinguished people under the chief minister’s quota.

The court said this in the course of the hearing of a petition by a Kolkata-based lawyer Joydeep Mukharjee seeking an independent scrutiny of all discretionary quota allotments made in the state since 1977.

The petitioner named Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his cabinet colleagues as respondents.

The court told the petitioner that it was not going into old allotments. “We can’t put the clock back,” observed the court.

“We will focus on the unallotted plots under the discretionary quota,” said the court.

“We are not going into the past. But if there are plots yet to be allotted, let there be norms for them,” the court.

“We want the guidelines to be laid by the state, saying these are the norms for the allotment of plots under the discretionary quota,” said the court.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal told the court that “I am told that guidelines have been put in place after the judgment of this court”.

The court was told that the last such allotment from discretionary quota was made in 2002 to former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly.

At this point, the court said: “Then show it to us”.

Then court went on to add that there must be some eligibility criterion as to who can get a plot under the discretionary quota and its cost vis-à-vis market prices.

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