What Sena, Rane did on Vohra report when in power in Maha? HC
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2009, 15:42
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday sought to know what Shiv Sena and its one-time member Narayan Rane did following the N N Vohra Committee report on nexus between politicians and organised crime syndicates.

"Was Shiv Sena aware of Vohra Committee report when it came to power (in Maharashtra in 1995)? What did it do? We want to know," said a Division Bench of Justices J N Patel and Amjed Sayed.

The court's query came during the hearing of a PIL filed by a Shiv Sena worker, who wants Rane to name the politicians who allegedly provided assistance to terrorists.

Rane, a former Sena CM now with Congress and currently Revenue Minister, had said immediately after November 26 Mumbai carnage last year that he knew some politicians in the state who provided monetary and logistical support to terrorists.

The PIL by Solapur-based Purushottam Barde sought inquiry into Rane's statement. However, Rane's reply last week -- in an affidavit -- was that he was only referring to N N Vohra Committee report, submitted in 1993, on criminalisation of politics, and was not talking about any individuals.

Today, when hearing started, Justice Patel said to the petitioner's lawyer: "After Vohra report came, what did your party (Shiv Sena) do? Whether you were able to identify these people? We want to know what your government did when you were in power (from 1995 to 1999)."

The report on politician-criminal nexus was prepared by N N Vohra, a former Union Home Secretary.

The court said to petitioner's lawyer: "You should ask your leader what happened to Vohra report. You should have resigned from party (Shiv Sena) if it had not acted on it."

"We want to know what Shiv Sena did after the report...Shiv Sena is accountable to people."

Reminding that Rane was Maharashtra Chief Minister in 1999 when Sena (along with BJP) was in power, the court said, "you (Sena) should have removed him from Chief Minister's post if he did not act on the report."

Not sparing Rane either, court asked his lawyers: "When did your client first read the report? You were once the Chief Minister. Did you come across the report then?"

"A very responsible politician brought the report to people's notice. After that he was elected, now let the people know what happened to the report," Justice Patel said, referring to Rane.

Adjourning hearing till November 26, incidentally the first anniversary of 26/11, the court told government lawyer to ask the Home Department whether any politician having nexus with criminals has been identified.

Rane had talked about terrorists' links with politicians at a press conference on December 6. However, he had not specified whether he referred to terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, November 19, 2009, 15:42

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