Citizens' Issues
President Pratibha Patil grabs 2,61,000 sq ft of land meant for soldiers and officers

An RTI activist from Pune, Col Suresh Patil (retd) remarked, “Dr Rajendra Prasad donated his land to Vinoba Bhave and here we have Pratibhatai Patil taking away the land for of her own men

Consider this: Eight hundred jawans of the Territorial Army (TA) are presently posted in Pune but there is residential accommodation for only 14. This being a family posting (a bonanza offered after a harsh field station posting), each jawan desires to bring his family, otherwise left behind in his hometown, when he is guarding the nation’s frontiers, often in a challenging geographical terrain. However, due to lack of official accommodation, a jawan is asked by his seniors to refrain from getting his family to Pune. Those jawans who decide to get their families to Pune nevertheless, live in slum-like conditions in one-room dwellings, near the Pune cantonment, with no drinking water facility.  In addition, paucity of residential accommodation for hundreds of soldiers and officers in the Indian Armed Forces in Pune is causing great inconvenience to the families.

Now consider this: Pratibha Patil, president of India and the supreme commander of the armed forces is building a palatial home for herself on a whopping 261,000 sq ft of land in Khadki Cantonment in Pune (out of which the bungalow occupies about 4,500 sq ft). The land belongs to the defence. It will now have a fortified home, the construction of which is nearing completion.

The president is eligible for only 2,000 sq ft bungalow in any part of the country if he/she wants the government to hire a home for him/her, after retirement. Otherwise, he/she is entitled to a government-owned Class V bungalow (around 4,500 sq ft) if it is available.  He/she is not eligible to build a home on government land. Some former defence personnel from Pune who are campaigning against this illegality are taking strong objections to the fact that Ms Patil is constructing her house on government land, when hundreds of jawans and officers are facing official accommodation crisis.

This revelation under the Right to Information (RTI) Act was procured by Col Suresh Patil (retd) and founder of Justice for Jawans (JFJ), RTI activist Anup Awasthi and Indian Ex-servicemen Movement (IESM) who are campaigning against Ms Patil’s ‘snatching’ away land meant for soldiers and officers.

The RTI application was sent to the president’s office. As per the reply, under the President’s Emoluments and Pension Act, 1951 and rules framed under the President’s Pension Rule, 1962, “where suitable government residence is not available for allotment to a retired president, the size of the residence to be taken on lease to be provided to a retired president shall have a living area not exceeding 2,000 sq ft”.

“A place where government-owned accommodation is allotted to a retired president, the size of the residence is comparable to a residence allotted to a minister in the Union council of ministers and if the highest type of government residence available as a particular place is less in size than a residence allotted to a minister in the Union council of ministers, the highest type of accommodation available at that place shall be allotted to the ex-president. At present, a minister is entitled to a plinth area of the bungalow as 4,498 sq ft”.

The reply under RTI also stated that she is eligible to drinking water and electricity supply, free of cost, throughout her life.

States commander Ravindra Pathak, member of the IESM and who invoked the RTI, “taking away more than 2.5 lakh sq ft of defence land is sheer looting by Ms Patil. We are sending a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to take up the case suo moto. We have no money to pay for lawyers’ expenses.”

Col Suresh Patil (retd) elaborates, “Two defence bungalows have been pulled down to make way for Ms Patil’s bungalow and the vast expanse of land, over 2 lakh sq ft has been fortified for her. We are saying that let her keep the 2,000 sq ft she is entitled to and give away the remaining land for constructing official accommodation for soldiers and officers. Otherwise, there are numerous bungalows in the three cantonments of Pune and she could have been given accommodation in one of these.”

No other president has made such claims for personal gains, alleges Col Patil. He adds says, “Dr Rajendra Prasad donated his land to Vinoba Bhave and here we have Pratibhatai Patil taking away the land for of her own men—after all she is the supreme commander of the armed forces.”

RTI in this case provided information but who’s going to tie the proverbial bell round the cat? Hence, we need a strong anti-corruption law.

(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife. She is also an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte. She can be reached at [email protected])

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COMMENTS

Arunjith

4 years ago

If husband is found guilty for land grabbing, son is caught with 1CR cash during election, THEN CASE IS NO BIG SURPRISE.. to any one... IT HAPPENS IN FAMILY.

Vishram patil

4 years ago

It is alleged that now she is using the services of Tripura Governor D Y Patil for putting pressure on the ex Army people in Pune and since he is under pressure for out standings of over 50 crores to Income Tax Department. And he is using all government facilities like airplane car funds to try to pay this amount. Anyway it will all come out in RTI why DY Patil is in Pune, what his son inlaw pd Patil is doing.

Truth will come!

Anil Jain

4 years ago

She should be prosecuted if the charges are true.

Rajeev

4 years ago

Complete misuse of power and opportunism.

malq

4 years ago

The latest update. Harassment of retired Army officers in this episode now.

http://www.timesnow.tv/Debate-Whistle-bl...

malq

4 years ago

Here's another report of another land grab. How much does our First Palloo, Lady of the 420 gun salute, want??

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_pr...

Hail to the Thief!!

Ratanlal Purohit

4 years ago

Smt Pratibhatai Sahiba is our head of the State and should command highest regard regardless. SHE SHOULD ENJOY HIGHEST BENEFITS TO MAINTAIN HER HIGH STANDARDS AS PER HIGH OFFICE.
I was passing through GRAND ANTILLA 27 STORIED MARVEL MANSION OF MUKES. CHANDALIER WAS BRIGHT AND COULD BE SEEN. MY TL ALSO GOT LIT. ARRE BABA HE IS SPENDING LAKHS ON HIS ELECTRICITY ALONE PER MONTH. AND OUR HOME MINISTER IS SPOILING DECOR OF TAI'S HAPPY HOME. IS SHE ANY LESS. NO BODY TALKS OF THOUSANDS OF CRORE COST OF ANTILA. MUKESH GRABBED LAND OF ORFANS. I DONT HOW WAQF ALLOWED. AND EVERY ONE IS TALKING OF COUPLE OF LAKHS OF OBSCURE KIRKI PUNE LAND. OBVIOUSLY SHE CANT BE LOOKED IN POOR LIGHT
RELATIVELY SPEAKING. SHE IS JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF INDIA. SHE IS RAISING THE BAR OF HIGH STANDARDS SET BY NEO RICH. SHE HAS TO PARK HER HELICOPTERS. TREES HAVE TO GO TO BE RPELANTED TO BEAUTIFY SOME NALLAS OF RETIRED ARMY MEN. IT COMES IN THE WAY OF HELLPAD.
ITS A NEQ ANGLE TO LOOK FROM THE POINT OF MOST HONOURABLE PREZ TAI SAHIBA.
DON'T USE HUL SURF EXCEL DET LINE. DAAG TO ACHCHE HAIN.
DAAG UNKE GUNAHON
KE DHULE NA DHULE.
NEKIYAN UNKI PATA
CHALE NA CHALE.
ARRE BHAI AAJ 3X6
KYON DIKHATE HO


KAL BHI UNKI AANKH KHULE NA KHULE. KAL UNKI

sridhar

4 years ago

Pl advise her that 6'x3' is calling, (in her case even that may not required) why unnecessarily succumbing to Congress ideas. In the meantime anyone can simply tell us what they are uttering while taking the "Oath". "Party loots will not be revealed???"

malq

4 years ago

Apparently the lady now wants 85 lakhs for interior decoration work for the palace being built in Pune . . . where does the greed and landgrab end? Free food and drink for the rest of her family for how many generations, next?

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/hom...

""In a huge snub to the head of the state President Pratibha Patil, the Home Ministry has turned down her demand for Rs 85 lakhs to do up her new controversy ridden retirement home in Pune.

Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram has reluctantly sanctioned Rs 20 lakhs which is still a record sum in the history of the republic.

Former presidents such as APJ Kalam were given Rs 6 and a half lakhs and earlier presidents such as KR Narayan and Shankar Dayal Sharma sought and got only Rs four and a half lakhs and one and a half lakhs.

This was cited by the Home Ministry to turn down Pratibha Patil's demand.""

P V Ariel

4 years ago

Oh!! My God What a shocking news it is? And what a shame too!!! A thorough inquiry should be conducted and all the guilty should be punished according to the rule of the land. No political influence should be involved in the inquiry.

REPLY

S kumar Parmar

In Reply to P V Ariel 4 years ago

But statement is being given that nothing wrong is being done...???

ushareddy

4 years ago

our present leaders know only three words I ME and MINE nothing else

REPLY

S kumar Parmar

In Reply to ushareddy 4 years ago

Because ego comes in their way....!!!

pankaj kapadia

4 years ago

Pls help moneylife to find why this land was alloted (read 100 times higher than eligibility). the reason is very obvious. Not for her work but for some favor. If you find the who favored.. u would know what misdid she did. FIND THE REASON

S George

4 years ago

From the beginning I had a feeling that she was not fit for the hob. President post itself should be abolished. Very sorry to see that we are getting such inefficient, greedy people appointed by congress for their own ends.

GAJANAN V YADAV

4 years ago

IF CHARGES ON HER TRUE THEN REST OF THE DIGNITARIES, IF MAKES PROPERTIES ON GOVT. LAND THEN NO SURPRISE. WE NEED ANOTHER NEWSPAPER CALLED
" BHRASTACHAR / ATYACHAR PATRIKA "
"SAMPATTI BANAO PATRIKA " TO READ SUCH TYPE OF INSTANCES.
BHAGWAN BACHAYE AB IS DESH KO. INSAN HAAR RAHA HAI. MANGAI SE DABATA JA RAHA HAI
JAIHIND

Aniket

4 years ago

President Pratibha Patil is like Goddess!! Few fanatic people are jealous of her success. This is just to defame her.

REPLY

pankaj

In Reply to Aniket 4 years ago

prabhu vachan , aapke ; aniket ji.... jai ho maharaaj !! bhagwaan bhi aise Goddess ko dekh kar sochta hoga ,,, kya yeh mere dwara banaya hue koi hasti hai . abb hindustan ko chodo,, mere takht ( kingdom) par iski nazar pad gayi ,, to yeh bhi grab ho jayega.. so let her satisfy her desire from this mrityulok land only and please Save me atleast ... haha.. kudos to ur simplicity, dear aniket...

Delhi HC issues notice to SEBI to implead Midas Touch in a PIL on consent orders

Midas Touch has argued that that it has additional information relating to consent orders

The Delhi High Court (HC), on Tuesday, issued notices to the market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and a petitioner, for impleading Midas Touch Investor Association in the public interest litigation (PIL), challenging the constitutional validity of the popular “consent orders” mechanism by SEBI used to settle disputes related to securities law offences.

Midas Touch moved an application stating that it should be allowed to be impleaded in the PIL as it has additional information relating to the case, following which orders were issued by bench of acting chief justice AK Sikri and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.

In a press note, Midas Touch stated that, “it was one amongst the privileged eight unconnected organizations and individuals invited by the JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) for personal deposition before it. Therefore, impleading the applicant in the PIL would enable it to assist the Hon’ble Court in dispensing justice.”

A PIL was filed in October last year, by Delhi-based businessman Deepak Khosla challenging the SEBI’s 2007 circular enabling adjudicating officers (AOs) to issue consent orders without fixing guilt of parties involved. The plea also sought quashing of the circular and cancelling all consent orders passed by SEBI or by the AOs in pursuance of the circular.

The SEBI circular enables AOs to settle “administrative or civil actions” in cases where a person is prima facie found to have violated rules without fixing the guilt of the parties involved. Such cases also include those which are pending before the courts or appellate authority.

Virendra Jain, president, Midas Touch says that, “Such unfettered powers can be conferred in an authoritarian state and have no place in a democracy.”

The writ petition further said that there is no power with SEBI to frame such a “Super Amnesty” scheme, especially since the scheme is completely contrary to the SEBI Rules and Regulations Act.

It also states that the consent guidelines issued by SEBI have been grossly abused. It has referred to the constitution and recommendations of Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) formed following the 2002 securities scam, also known as Ketan Parekh scam. The report submitted by the JPC in 2002 had noted that there was a nexus between Ketan Parekh, banks and corporate houses. It recommended SEBI, the ministry of company affairs, along with other enforcement and investigating agencies, to investigate this nexus and action taken under relevant laws. SEBI invoked the consent mechanism in numerous such cases which has enabled the market regulator to settle cases in defiance of the will of the Parliament.

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Financial Technologies gains 6% as SC rejects SEBI plea on MCX-SX

Shares of FTIL witness robust buying interest from investors soon after the court decision

New Delhi : Shares of Financial Technologies (FTIL) on Wednesday soared by 5.75%, as the Supreme Court asked the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to reconsider FTIL-promoted MCX-SX's application for a full-fledged stock exchange, reports PTI.

The apex court today asked SEBI to consider within three months the application of MCX-SX seeking permission to launch an equity trading platform, which has been previously rejected by the capital market regulator.

The shares of FTIL witnessed robust buying interest from investors soon after the court decision and settled for the day with a gain of 5.75% at Rs747.10. Prior to the court decision, the stock was trading nearly flat for most part of the trading session today.

Shares of Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), the FTIL-promoted commodity bourse, also settled 0.9% higher at Rs1,268.40 on the BSE in an overall weak market.

Commenting on the development, an MCX-SX spokesperson said: "We always had full faith in our regulatory and judicial institutions and systems. "We remain committed to the growth and development of Indian capital market which has a significant role to play in the overall development of the economy," the spokesperson said in a statement.

SEBI had approached Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court set aside a SEBI order rejecting permission to MCX-SX.

The apex court passed the order on the basis of a consensus reached between SEBI and MCX-SX vis-a-vis amendment to the MIMPS (manner of increasing and maintaining public shareholding in recognised stock exchanges) rules which the stock exchange also agreed to adhere to.

SEBI's counsel told the bench that regulator was willing to amend the rules within three months and Mr Salve assured the court that the company was willing to abide by the proposed amended rules upon which the court passed the order.

Earlier the Bombay High Court had set aside the SEBI order rejecting permission to MCX-SX to launch an equity trading platform, asking the regulator to reconsider afresh the bourse's application within a month.

The SEBI had rejected MCX-SX' application on grounds, including violation of the MIMPS rules which mandates promoters to hold only 5% stake.

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