Cong steps up attack on Maria for meeting

Cong steps up attack on Maria for meeting

Maharashtra government is yet to make up its mind on Mumbai top cop Rakesh Maria following revelations that he met former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi in June 2014 without the state government’s knowledge. 

Maria, a 1981 batch IPS officer, met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday night and presented his side of the case. The chief minister said the concerned file is yet to reach him. 

“The file is yet to come to me,” he told reporters at Vidhan Bhavan. “It is with Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi...I will decide when it comes to me,” Fadnavis said. 

The government must consider conduct rules, confidentiality, breaking of secrecy pact, propriety, vested interests and favouritism if any. “The decision (on Maria’s future) will be on merits,” CMO officials said. 

Congress, however, has stepped up its attack of Maria with former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan saying he was not aware of the June 2014 meeting between Maria and Modi. 

“I was unaware of the meeting,” Chavan said.  “I was not briefed. Such trips are cleared at the level of the home minister.” After a photograph of him and Modi surfaced on Saturday, Maria released a statement admitting that he met the former IPL chief at the instance of a lawyer when he was in London to attend a conference and had informed former home minister late R R Patil on his return. 

“This is serious issue. The police chief meets Lalit Modi and the government is not aware of it,” leader of Opposition in state Assembly Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil said. 

“He is a senior officer and he must quit immediately. If he does not, the government must suspend him,” Patil said, condemning Maria for taking R R Patil’s name as the Nationalist Congress Party leader is no more. 

The leader of opposition also claimed that the then Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Amitabh Rajan was unaware of the meeting. 

“He should have first informed his immediate administrative boss, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home). He is a senior officer and he should know the rules,” Patil said. 

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