Mumbai: With a defiant Information
Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari digging in his heels, Maharashtra
Governor K Sankaranarayanan on Tuesday made a reference to the
Supreme Court for suspension of the former bureaucrat for his
alleged role in the Adarsh housing scam.
"The Governor has made a reference to the Supreme
Court on Tiwari under Section 17.1 of the RTI Act," a Raj
Bhavan spokesperson said, taking forward the process to
suspend Tiwari, who was in-charge of the Urban Development
department when the Adarsh building got crucial clearances.
With this development, the process to suspend Tiwari
has been speeded up and it is a matter of days when it would
be completed, a senior Mantralaya official said.
Tiwari has defied the state government, saying he will
not quit as Information Commissioner and will challenge the
recommendation to the Governor to suspend him following his
alleged involvement in the Adarsh scam.
"I am not quitting but will challenge the suspension
process," Tiwari had said after a 10-minute meeting with
Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
Alleging "misconduct" by Tiwari in the Adarsh scam,
the State Cabinet had on January 11 recommended his suspension
to the Governor.
"I continue to attend office as I have not got any
communication from the state government asking me not to
attend office," Tiwari, a retired IAS officer, whose son owns
a flat in Adarsh society, said to a news agency recently.
The government had asked Tiwari to quit the post on
moral grounds but he defiantly rejected the suggestion and
instead applied for a three-month leave, which was turned down
by the Governor.
The Cabinet recommended to the Governor to refer to
the Supreme Court the matter of misconduct by Tiwari, under
section 17 of the Right to Information Act. It also suggested
that Tiwari be suspended from the post and barred from
remaining present in office till the inquiry is on.
"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,"
Another retired IAS officer Subhash Lalla resigned as
member of the State Human Rights Commission earlier this month
against the backdrop of his alleged involvement in the scam.