Tainted M'rashtra officer meets guv

Tainted M'rashtra officer meets guv

Talking to reporters outside Raj Bhavan, Tiwari said he has informed the governor that he did not clear any file related to Adarsh Society to get any benefit and that he would not step down.

“I will challenge the appeal (to the governor) for my suspension (made) by the state government...today (Sunday) I have met the governor and presented my side of the story. I am not going to step down,” Tiwari said. “I do accept that during my tenure in the urban development department, a lot of files came to me for clearances and I cleared them. The decision to clear land reservation and land transfers is a decision taken by the state and not by me.

“I have not given any environmental clearance as my department has nothing to do with it. Just because my son has got a flat, it does not mean that I have cleared the file. I am not under any pressure by the state to resign. I had applied for leave but it was not granted,” he added.

The state cabinet on January 11 recommended the governor to make a reference to the Supreme Court to conduct an inquiry into the alleged “misconduct” of Tiwari, under section 17(1) of the Right to Information Act 2005. The cabinet also recommended the governor to put Tiwari under suspension pending the apex court’s inquiry.

If the inquiry indicts Tiwari, then the governor can remove him from office. In that  case, it will be the first such case involving a high statutory functionary.

Tiwari was the urban development secretary for six years when Adarsh file was cleared by his department. He is accused of allowing reduction of Prakash Pethe marg, a road adjacent to the Adarsh building, as well as a municipal bus depot there, to facilitate an increase in floor space index for the society, which led the originally planned six-storey building to become a 31-storey tower.

Incidently, Tiwari’s son Onkar is a member of the society and owns a flat there.
To deflect action, Tiwari had tried to go on a long leave and sought the governor’s nod for that, but Sankaranarayanan rejected the application.