HC seeks to know steps taken to probe role of CIDCO officials

What steps have police taken to investigate the role of CIDCO officials in approving plans submitted by Tunga Regency Hotel in Vashi without authority, Bombay High Court (HC) asked the state government Monday.

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Monday told HC that a CIDCO official S V Kadam, who had approved the plans without authority to do so, had expired while he was in service.

A division bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and K K Tated, however, said even if a person alleged to have been an accused has died, an offence can still be made out.

The court has noted that some other officials may also be involved in granting the permission. The case has now been kept for hearing on February 21.

The petition, filed by Vashi-based activist Sandeep Thakur, questions legality of the parking arrangement for the hotel. According to Thakur, parking has been made on an adjoining plot owned by CIDCO. Thakur questions whether a provision for parking for a hotel can be allowed on a plot outside the hotel premises.

In the previous hearing on January 21, the court had said in its order, "Prima facie, in our opinion, this gives rise to criminal action against the concerned official of CIDCO and also to enquire whether the act of commission or omission of the official of CIDCO was product of some conspiracy and involvement of other persons."

The judges had taken note of a letter dated May 7 2008, sent by the manager (town services), CIDCO to the town planner of the NMMC, in which CIDCO had said approval of the plan for the parking was given without authority.

The court had then directed the managing director of CIDCO to take steps to report the matter to the local police, and had asked the local police to "proceed in accordance to law."

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