SC judge raps govt over Vilasrao Deshmukh

Last Updated: Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 15:26

New Delhi: Vilasrao Deshmukh, who had earlier
come under severe criticism from the Supreme Court for
interdicting police action against a Congress MLA in
Maharashtra, came under further attack from an apex court
judge who questioned his continuance in the government.

"It is sad and shocking to see how the government allows
and appreciates such ministers. Not only that, it also gives
them a Cabinet post. It is not a dignified act and I would
call it a shameless act," Justice AK Ganguly said at a
seminar in Mumbai on Saturday.

Justice Ganguly, who along with Justice GS Singhvi had
criticised Deshmukh for shielding a Congress MLA`s family from
complaints on money lending by poor farmers during his tenure
as chief minister, Sunday said, "I have nothing more to say on
it. I said whatever I wanted to say and I am not denying it."

Deshmukh, who was earlier holding Heavy Industries
portfolio, has recently been shifted to Rural Development
Ministry.

Justice Ganguly`s remarks came against the backdrop of
concerns expressed over exploitation of poor farmers at the
hands of moneylenders. He referred to the case when the then
Maharashtra chief minister had tried to protect moneylenders
including the MLA from police action.

The judge was speaking at a two-day conference on gender
concern in conflict zones.

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 had said the action of Deshmukh 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.

"Chief Minister`s instructions are so incongruous and
anachronistic, being in defiance of all logic and reason, that
our conscience is deeply disturbed. We condemn the same in no
uncertain terms," the bench had said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 15:26

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