Maharashtra information commissioner’s removal hastened

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MUMBAI - The process to remove defiant State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari got a fillip with Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan Tuesday referring the matter to the Supreme Court, an official said.

The governor has referred the case to the apex court under Right to Information Act, Section 17(1), said an official who declined to be identified.

“The next stage will be Tiwari’s suspension, which could happen as soon as the governor’s recommendation reaches the apex court,” the official explained. The suspension itself could take place in the next few days.

Tiwari, a former Indian Administrative Service officer, was asked to quit his post by the state government last month after his name came up for alleged involvement in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam.

Since Tiwari, who occupies a constitutional post, refused to resign claiming innocence in the case, the state cabinet initiated the process to remove him.

Among other things, he has been accused of withholding crucial information on the Adarsh society, in which many politicians and bureaucrats are members.

The scam has claimed the job of former chief minister Ashok Chavan after allegations surfaced of collusion between bureaucrats and politicians to corner flats in the society’s 31-storey building constructed on a prime plot measuring nearly 6,500 sq m in the posh Colaba area of south Mumbai.

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