Home Secy admits suggesting to Uttarakhand Gov to quit

Home Secretary Anil Goswami has admitted before the Supreme Court that he had suggested to Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi to consider resigning from his post as certain statements made by him were "not compatible with the high constitutional office that he was occupying".

New Delhi: Home Secretary Anil Goswami has admitted before the Supreme Court that he had suggested to Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi to consider resigning from his post as certain statements made by him were "not compatible with the high constitutional office that he was occupying".

He, however, strongly refuted the charge that he had threatened the Governor to step down.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court, Goswami submitted that no Governor was forced to resign by the NDA government after it came to power in May except in the case of Mizoram Governor Kamla Beniwal who was removed as her conduct was not compatible with the high constitutional office. He said that Governors had resigned on their own volition.

The Home Secretary was at the Centre of controversy after some Governors appointed by the UPA regime alleged that he had nudged them to relinquish office.

Referring to a controversial statement made by Qureshi in which he had said that henious crimes such as rape can only be stopped by divine intervention, the Home Secretary submitted that it was in "extremely poor taste" and "highly insensitive" and suggested him to resign after that.

"I mentioned that the explanations were not satisfactory as his comments had created an uproar. In view of this situation, I had suggested that he may consider putting in his paper because the Office of the Governor had been embroiled in needless controversies," he said, adding, "I submit that I did not threaten the Governor to resign".

He said that there is nothing wrong in the Home Secretary making a call to the Governor to find out about the status of the affairs relating to the press reports which were forwarded by the Secretariat of the President.

"Dr Aziz Qureshi, while being a Governor, had made certain statements which were not compatible with the high constitutional office that he was occupying and as such it was my duty to interact with him," he said.

"It is the actions of the petitioner himself which have given rise to a situation which does not behove of a Governor," he said.

"It is the Home Secretary who interacts with the governors of the states and keeps the Home Minister at the Centre briefed. The Home Secretary is the one who conveys if there are any concerns and he is the one who has to take stock of a particular situation in a state through the Governor and convey it to the Home Minister and to the President," he said.