Adarsh: Maha wants information commissioner to go

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 00:27

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday decided to recommend to the Governor the suspension of state
Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari for his alleged role
in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

Tiwari should not attend office till the inquiry into
the scam concludes, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told
reporters after a meeting of the state Cabinet chaired by
him.

"For Tiwari to continue in office is not in the
interest of the state. We have submitted enough grounds to
take action against Tiwari and the Governor will send the
recommendation to the Supreme Court which will hold an inquiry
and decide whether to suspend him or terminate his services,"
Chavan said.

"IAS officers are protected by law but Tiwari and
Lalla were appointed for political reasons. So, there is a
specific procedure to take action against them," he said.

Tiwari was under pressure from the government to quit
as Information Commissioner, but he refused and instead sent
across a leave application to Governor K Sankaranarayanan, who
rejected it.

Lalla, another retired IAS officer, had resigned as
member of the State Human Rights Commission on January 3 after
the names of his kin figured as beneficiaries in the Adarsh
Society meant for war heroes and Defence personnel.

Lalla was posted in the Chief Minister`s office when
the scam-hit Society`s files were being processed.

Tiwari, headed the state`s Urban Development
Department when some crucial clearances, including raise in
Floor Space Index, was granted to the Adarsh Society. His son
too owns a flat in the 31-storey building in upmarket Colaba.

Chavan said action against Tiwari has been initiated
under Section 17 of the RTI Act, which states that "Governor
may by order remove from office the State Information
Commissioner if a state information commissioner has acquired
such financial or other interest as is likely to affect
prejudicially his function as the State Information
Commissioner".

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar read out the text of
the decision which said that the Cabinet had resolved to
recommend the suspension of Tiwari.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 00:27

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