Mumbai: A defiant Ramanand Tiwari who refused to resign as state Information Commissioner for his alleged role in the Adarsh Housing scam, was on Thursday suspended with immediate effect by Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan.
"The Governor has suspended Tiwari with immediate effect, using powers under Section 17.2 of the RTI Act," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
Under this section, Governor may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also from attending the office during inquiry, the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court.
The development comes two days after the Governor had made a reference to the Supreme Court for removal of the former bureaucrat.
However, Tiwari continued to defy the government, saying he will not quit as Information Commissioner and will challenge the state cabinet`s recommendation to the Governor to suspend him.
On Sunday, after a 10-minute meeting with Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan, Tiwari had said he would not resign but will challenge the suspension process.
Alleging `misconduct` by Tiwari in the Adarsh scam, the state cabinet had on January 11 recommended his suspension to the Governor.
The government had asked Tiwari to quit the post on moral grounds but he 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 ," Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said.
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.