The state government has dashed off a formal dossier making a case for state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari’s removal. The dossier points to two specific violations by him as the urban development secretary in granting clearance to the controversial Adarsh housing society.
The violations refers to the reduction and changing reservation of the Prakash Pethe Marg in Colaba and changing reservation of the BEST depot, adjoining Adarsh. The decisions directly benefited the society by providing the tower with additional area and Floor Space Index (FSI).
In both cases, Tiwari took decisions after overruling objections raised by other state agencies, including the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the BEST.
“The reduction of road was opposed by the MMRDA and MSRDC in writing as the road was a connector to the proposed Nariman Point-Uran link,’’ said a senior bureaucrat, who did not wish to be named.
The bureaucrat added that Tiwari had a written submission from BEST assistant manager, stating that they required the 2,669 sq metre depot for public purposes. This plot was added to the society and its FSI transferred to the building.
The state report says that this was clearly misuse of powers. Tiwari as the urban development secretary had powers to overrule the decisions.
The government has also pointed out that Tiwari can’t refute charges of financial interest though the flat in Adarsh is in the name of his son Omkar.
The state, in its documents to the governor, has pointed out that Tiwari funded around Rs49.99 lakh of the flat cost for his son.
This can prove a ‘quid pro quo’ charge against the former bureaucrat. When asked why action had not been taken against serving bureaucrats, who were also under scanner in the scam, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “Serving IAS officials are protected under Section 311 of the Constitution.
In any case, the judicial probe in to the case will examine their roles and suggest action.”