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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Maharashtra Assembly: Thackeray’s notings on file tampered with, FIR lodged

BJP's Ashish Shelar exposed the "file scam" during the proceedings of the state Assembly on Tuesday.

Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | December 16, 2020 12:50:13 am
Maharashtra Assembly winter session, Uddhav Thackeray, file scam, Mumbai Police, Maharashtra news, Mumbai news, Indian express newsUddhav Thackeray

Based on a complaint filed by the state public works department, the Mumbai Police has filed an FIR after an official file signed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was allegedly tampered with and changes made to notings signed by him in a bid to influence the outcome of the proposal contained in the file.

BJP’s Ashish Shelar exposed the “file scam” during the proceedings of the state Assembly on Tuesday. Later, Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan admitted to the development, saying that an FIR has been lodged and that the police are investigating the matter.

The file in question pertains to the initiation of a departmental probe against an engineer of the PWD. According to Shelar, the proposal for an inquiry against the engineer had commenced during the previous Devendra Fadnavis government. “The file travelled from the department secretary to the minister and then to the CMO. Both the secretary and the minister had recommended an inquiry against the officer. But when the file came back from the CMO, it was written in red ink that there was ‘no need for an inquiry’. While the CM had signed the file, it was later found that the remarks had been entered by someone else after the CM had signed the proposal for the probe,” he said.

Chavan admitted that the CM’s noting, signing the proposal submitted by the department, was tampered with.

Shelar also alleged that while the CM immediately ordered the filing of an FIR in the matter, there was a delay. “Till today, people may have heard about land scams and medicine scams. This is a file scam. This shows how this government has been functioning. All the files cleared by them must be probed,” he said.

Questioning the bureaucratic overreach, Shelar raised another issue where the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had made adverse observations against a senior additional chief secretary-level bureaucrat alleging that he had interfered with the auditor’s work and even altered its inference. Chavan, in his reply, said that the “government was not shielding anyone”.

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