Adarsh scam: Maharashtra Governor suspends Information Commissioner Tiwari

Mumbai, Jan 20 (ANI): Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan has suspended Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari for his alleged role in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai.

"The Governor has suspended Tiwari with immediate effect, using powers under Section 17.2 of the RTI Act," said a Raj Bhavan spokesperson today.

Governor Sankaranarayanan had on Tuesday made a reference to the Supreme Court for suspension of tainted bureaucrat Tiwari.

Earlier on January 11, the Maharashtra Cabinet recommended the removal of Ramanand Tiwari as the state's Information Commissioner following allegations of withholding information on the controversial Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.

Tiwari was in charge of the Urban Development Department when the Adarsh Housing Society got clearance, where his son also owns a flat.

Earlier on January 5, Governor Sankaranarayanan rejected Tiwari"s leave application. He had submitted his leave application to the State Governor, amid a demand by the Opposition for his ouster.

Earlier on January 3, former IAS officer Subhash Lalla, who was secretary in the Chief Minister"s Office when the Housing Society"s file was being processed in the state secretariat, resigned as a member of Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission following allegations of his involvement in the scam.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has claimed to have found evidence of alleged forgery and manipulation of documents on part of some army officials and bureaucrats in the scam.

According to reports, some of the documents seized by the investigating agency were indicative of some forgery having allegedly been committed by a few defence officials in criminal conspiracy with bureaucrats of Maharashtra Government and private individuals.

A decision on registering the case under provisions of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act would be taken once a clearance came from the legal department of the CBI.

The Bombay High Court had on December 21 slammed the Maharashtra Government over the controversial Adarsh Housing Society scam saying it is """a clear-cut case of manipulation""" by its officers in which everybody who was supposed to clear the file was """gifted""" a flat.

The 31-storey Adarsh Society, originally meant for Kargil war heroes, landed in controversy after media reports said several politicians, bureaucrats and defence personnel owned flats there.

The CBI had on November 15 registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) to probe the alleged role of former and serving Army officers, with the permission of Defence Minister A K Antony. (ANI)

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