Mumbai: A petition on Wednesday urged the Bombay
High Court to recover Rs 10 lakh fine levied by the Supreme
Court from the pocket of Union Rural Development Minister
Vilasrao Deshmukh for his role in asking the local authorities
in Vidarbha not to register case against family of a Congress
MLA who allegedly harassed a farmer to repay loan.
The fine had been paid by the Maharashtra Government
early this year after the Supreme Court rapped Deshmukh, the
then Chief Minister, for obstructing police in filing a case
against Congress MLA Dilip Kumar Sananda and his family.
The petition, filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar,
demanded that the fine be recovered from Deshmukh for
interfering in police probe into a complaint made by a farmer
regarding loan recovery against the Sananda family.
The petition urged that Deshmukh be made co-accused in
the case for interfering in police investigation. It will come
up for hearing in due course.
Deshmukh faced severe criticism from a Supreme Court
bench for shielding a Congress MLA`s family from complaints on
money lending by poor farmers during his tenure as Chief
The Supreme Court had in its December 14 judgement termed
Deshmukh`s behaviour as "anachronistic and incongruous" and
had enhanced to Rs 10 lakh the fine of Rs 25,000 imposed by
the Bombay High Court on the Maharashtra government.
The court said Deshmukh`s action was condemnable as he
acted beyond "all legal norms" for "political consideration"
despite Vidharbha region having the dubious distinction of
witnessing the largest number of farmers` suicides.
The Apex court had passed the judgement while dismissing
the state government`s appeal challenging the High Court order
which had held that Deshmukh acted in violation of law by
asking the Collector of Buldhana and Khamgaon police station
not to register cases against Sananda family.