Maha Govt pays Rs 10 lakh fine in Vilasrao case

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Mumbai, Feb 8 (PTI) The Maharashtra Government haspaid the Supreme Court a fine of Rs 10 lakh imposed forobstruction of police action against the money lender fatherof a Congress legislator, allegedly at the behest of thenchief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, now Union rural developmentminister.

"The state government has paid the Rs 10 lakh fine," asenior official said.

The development comes days after Supreme Court JudgeA K Ganguly expressed "shock" at Deshmukh''s continuation as aunion minister despite the court''s action.

Ganguly had said at a seminar in Mumbai on Saturdaythat it was "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."

Vilasrao Deshmukh faced severe criticism from theSupreme Court bench of Justice Ganguly and Justice G S Singhvifor shielding a Congress MLA''s family from complaints on moneylending by poor farmers during his tenure as chief minister.

The Supreme Court had in its December 14 judgementtermed Deshmukh''s behaviour as "anachronistic and incongruous"and had enhanced to Rs 10 lakh the fine of Rs 25,000 imposedby the Bombay high court on the Maharashtra government.

The court had said the action of Deshmukh wascondemnable as he acted beyond "all legal norms" for"political consideration" despite Vidharbha region having thedubious distinction of witnessing the largest number offarmers'' suicides. More PTI SSG VT SK

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