SC judge questions continuance of Deshmukh in government

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) Vilasrao Deshmukh, who had earliercome under severe criticism from the Supreme Court forinterdicting police action against a Congress MLA inMaharashtra, came under further attack from an apex courtjudge who questioned his continuance in the government.

"It is sad and shocking to see how the government allowsand appreciates such ministers. Not only that, it also givesthem a Cabinet post. It is not a dignified act and I wouldcall it a shameless act," Justice A K Ganguly said at aseminar in Mumbai yesterday.

Justice Ganguly, who along with Justice G S Singhvi hadcriticised Deshmukh for shielding a Congress MLA''s family fromcomplaints on money lending by poor farmers during his tenureas chief minister, today said, "I have nothing more to say onit. I said whatever I wanted to say and I am not denying it."

Deshmukh, who was earlier holding Heavy Industriesportfolio, has recently been shifted to Rural DevelopmentMinistry.

Justice Ganguly''s remarks came against the backdrop ofconcerns expressed over exploitation of poor farmers at thehands of moneylenders. He referred to the case when the thenMaharashtra chief minister had tried to protect moneylendersincluding the MLA from police action.

The judge was speaking at a two-day conference on genderconcern in conflict zones.

The Supreme Court had in its December 14 judgement termedDeshmukh''s behaviour as anachronistic and incongruous and hadenhanced to Rs 10 lakh the fine of Rs 25,000 imposed by theBombay High Court on the Maharashtra government.

The court had said the action of Deshmukh was condemnableas he acted beyond "all legal norms" for "politicalconsideration" despite Vidharbha region having the dubiousdistinction of witnessing the largest number of farmers''suicides.

"Chief Minister''s instructions are so incongruous andanachronistic, being in defiance of all logic and reason, thatour conscience is deeply disturbed. We condemn the same in nouncertain terms," the bench had said. .

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