With defiant Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari digging in his heels, Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan on Tuesday made a reference to the Supreme Court for suspension of the former bureaucrat for his alleged role in the Adarsh housing scam.
"The governor has made a reference to the Supreme Court on Tiwari under Section 17.1 of the RTI Act," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said, taking forward the process to suspend Tiwari, who was in-charge of the urban development department when the Adarsh building got crucial clearances.
With this development, the process to suspend Tiwari has been speeded up and it would be completed in a matter of days, a senior Mantralaya official said.
Tiwari has defied the state government, saying he will not quit as information commissioner and will challenge the recommendation to the governor to suspend him, following his alleged involvement in the Adarsh scam.
"I am not quitting but will challenge the suspension process," Tiwari had said after a 10-minute meeting with Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan on Sunday. Alleging 'misconduct' by Tiwari in the Adarsh scam, the State Cabinet had on January 11 recommended his suspension to the governor.
"I continue to attend office as I have not got any communication from the state government asking me not to attend office," Tiwari, a retired IAS officer, whose son owns a flat in Adarsh society, told PTI recently.
The government had asked Tiwari to quit the post on moral grounds but he rejected the suggestion and instead applied for a three-month leave, which was turned down by the governor.
The Cabinet recommended to the governor to refer to the Supreme Court the matter of misconduct by Tiwari, under Section 17 of the Right to Information Act.
It also suggested that Tiwari be suspended from the post and barred from remaining present in office till the inquiry is on.
"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.
Another retired IAS officer, Subhash Lalla, resigned as a member of the State Human Rights Commission earlier in January against the backdrop of his alleged involvement in the scam.