SC asks Maha govt to pay for cover-up
The Supreme Court on Monday slapped a R10-lakh fine on the Maharashtra government and indicted its former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for instructing the police and district collector not to register criminal cases against a Congress MLA's father.delhi Updated: Dec 15, 2010 01:25 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday slapped a R10-lakh fine on the Maharashtra government and indicted its former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for instructing the police and district collector not to register criminal cases against a Congress MLA's father. The father, a money-lender, was accused of charging exorbitant monthly interest from "poor farmers".
A bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly brushed aside Deshmukh's arguments denying the allegations and dismissed the state appeal against a Bombay High Court verdict that found the allegations against CM and his office true. The court directed the amount to be deposited with the State Legal Services Authority so that it could be used for the "poor farmers" fighting cases.
Dilipkumar Sananda's father, Gokulchand Sananda, was accused of charging a monthly interest of 10% on the loan advanced to the farmers of Vidharba region. More than 30 complaints were filed against Gokulchand. But, the police did not probe charges due to Deshmukh's intervention in 2006.
Deshmukh, presently Union minister, admitted before SC he had written a letter to Buldhana district collector in June 2006 not to pursue with the complaint against Gokulchand. He also did not deny the two telephone calls made by his private secretary to the police stations concerned.
"This being the ground reality, as CM of the state... Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh, certainly acted beyond all legal norms by giving the director to the collector to protect members of a particular family. This amounts to bestowing special favour to some chosen few at the cost of the vast number of poor farmers..." the bench said.
On perusing the communication between the collector and Deshmukh, the bench concluded he had knowledge about the complaints. "Even then he passed an order for a special treatment in favour of the family, which is unknown to law," it said. The bench added: "As a CM... Mr Deshmukh has taken a solemn of oath of allegiance to the Constitution but the directions he gave are wholly unconstitutional..."