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Another Corporator in line for disqualification?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
By Zuber Ansari and Dev Kotak

Fails to disclose info on properties, runs illegal food joint

Despite office bearers repeatedly being told to to furnish documents and divulge every minute detail about their assets, criminal record(s) and their income including sources, some of them have failed to do so, concealing major details and facts at the time of filing their nomination papers.

Serious allegation have been made against the sitting councilor of ward no.175 Mangesh Sridhar Satamkar, the Sion Koliwada-based corporator has allegedly presented false records, misleading the civic body.

Former Congress corporator and Satamkar's rival Lalita Kachru Yadav,  sought information through an RTI application, which has revealed some startling facts and details about Satamkar's assets and income sources.

After collecting the information, Yadav approached BMC with official complaints on two occasions (between May and June 2017) against the erring Satamkar. However, these repeated complaints, reminders and visits (to the BMC headquarters) by her hardly yielded anything with no action taken.

Despite stating in the declaration affidavit, Satamkar has failed to reflect details of all the properties. However what he failed to reveal is the fact that he owns five other agricultural land/ plots (in Shirgaon in Raigad district in his name) and an eatery, that has flouted norms.

“It has come to my notice that Mangesh Satamkar has not mentioned true and correct information in regards to his education, criminal attachment and liabilities and assets. He should have disclosed correct information about his immovable properties and the immovable properties of his spouse and dependents. In the affidavit he has mentioned his wife's name and also shown three dependents (two children and his mother Hemlata). The agricultural property-related information that he has divulged is entirely untrue,” said Yadav.

She further revealed that his mother herself is a dependent, thus how can he claim in the affidavit that she is the owner?

“Satamkar has not disclosed these properties in the affidavit. In the 7/12th extract of the said properties, his mother's name is stated as owner of the land and therefore she is dependent on Satamkar. These plots are valued at crores so why has he not disclosed details and suppressed them?” she added.

In the case of his illegal eatery, Annadata Aahar Kendra, the said councilor has also failed to show in the affidavit that he owns the establishment. The eating house registration certificate and other relevant documents (electricity bill, BMC license, etc) bear his name. The times BMC has acted against the illegal structures or sent notices, they have all been in his name.

The license too is way past it's renewal date (only up to 31.12.2017) and openly continues to flout rules while it was business as usual. Shockingly, the permission is believed to have been obtained from the Assistant Commissioner of Police to run it till 1:30 am.

The letter to the civic chief also states that the original area was of 144 sq.ft, where unauthorised and illegal construction was carried out and further increased to 600 sq.ft. A complaint was submitted to the concerned F-north ward's health officer.

A writ petition was filed in the Bombay High Court with a view to find out what action had been taken by the BMC commissioner after the counsel appearing for Mumbai Municipal Corporation had briefed the civic chief on the instructions issued. The court has instructed the BMC to consider evidence submitted by complainants against the tainted councilor and respond with what action will be taken, in a time bound manner.

“I therefore say that he should be disqualified u/s 16(D) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1988 as a municipal councilor. He should be declared disqualified in the corporation,” adds Yadav. When this paper contacted Satamkar to verify the charges against him, the councilor rubbished Yadav's claims as rumours and called them 'baseless' and 'hollow'.

He said ''All the allegations against me are false and don't add up. If you see in the case of Annadata Aahar Kendra, it was given to me only after I applied for it. Besides I have made no mention of it in the declaration affidavit, these people have filed a suit against me in the Small Causes and High Court, so I cannot do anything. When the BMC asked me to remove Annadata Kendra I myself removed the shed, but if you are referring to the Murud-Raigad properties, these plots are ancestral so why should I mention these properties in the affidavit. In 2010-2011 I purchased the agriculture land in Raigad which I have made a mention of in the declaration affidavit. These people are making false allegations about the fact that I am not a graduate and do not fall under OBC category. I am a graduate from a reputed university and have a certificate to prove my educational qualifications as claimed by me. Besides, not only me but all members of my family possess the OBC certificate, so there is no question of lying.”

Mumbai Congress' SC department president Kachru Yadav said "He allegedly produced and submitted a false affidavit to the elction commission and the BMC, where he has concealed the true facts. Subsequently, he illegally constructed the eatery after encroaching upon space reserved for a garden (from 110 to 600 sq. ft.). No requisite permissions were sought so we insist that the BMC take immediate action."

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