The Maharashtra government today decided to recommend to the Governor the suspension of state Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari for his alleged role in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
Tiwari should not attend office till the inquiry into the scam concludes, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters after a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by him.
"For Tiwari to continue in office is not in the interest of the state. We have submitted enough grounds to take action against Tiwari and the Governor will send the recommendation to the Supreme Court which will hold an inquiry and decide whether to suspend him or terminate his services," Chavan said.
"IAS officers are protected by law but Tiwari and Lalla were appointed for political reasons. So, there is a specific procedure to take action against them," he said.
Tiwari was under pressure from the government to quit as Information Commissioner, but he refused and instead sent across a leave application to Governor K Sankaranarayanan, who rejected it.
Lalla, another retired IAS officer, had resigned as member of the State Human Rights Commission on January 3 after the names of his kin figured as beneficiaries in the Adarsh Society meant for war heroes and defence personnel.
Lalla was posted in the Chief Minister's office when the scam-hit Society's files were being processed.
Tiwari, headed the state's Urban Development Department when some crucial clearances, including raise in Floor Space Index was granted to the Adarsh Society. His son too owns a flat in the 31-storey building in upmarket Colaba.
Chavan said action against Tiwari has been initiated under Section 17 of the RTI Act, which states that "Governor may by order remove from office the State Information Commissioner if a state information commissioner has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his function as the State Information Commissioner".
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar read out the text of the decision which said that the Cabinet had resolved to recommend the suspension of Tiwari.