Chavan ‘stalls’ decision on ministers named in scams

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has kept in abeyance decisions regarding six cabinet ministers facing charges of corruption being investigated by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) or Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI).

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Updated: April 14, 2014 2:32:20 pm

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has kept in abeyance decisions regarding six cabinet ministers facing charges of corruption being investigated by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) or Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI).

The ministers are Rajendra Darda (Congress),Gulabrao Deokar (NCP),Sunil Tatkare (NCP),Chhagan Bhujbal,Ganesh Naik and Vijaykumar Gavit.

Sources said,“The state government has referred the case files to the ministry of law and judiciary. In some cases,it has referred them to the ministry of home.”

Chavan,who is seemingly afraid of political backlash from alliance partner NCP and Congress,has refused to take any action against the ministers. Sources in the CMO said,“The CM has decided not to meddle in the matters of NCP. Since NCP is not taking action against any of their ministers,he has decided against stringent action against Congress ministers as well.”

Chavan has also delayed giving nod for prosecution. In cases of three senior ministers — Deokar,Gavit and Bhujbal — ACB has told the state government that the discreet inquiry is completed. Based on its findings,there is ground to allow interrogation of ministers and bureaucrats. However,the government is not sanctioning ministerial interrogation,a source said. The ministers have given detailed explanation to their respective party leadership and CM.

After Governor K Sankaranarayanan said cabinet should give its consent before moving a file to Raj Bhawan. Chavan has instead decided to wait for final court orders before proceeding.

Darda’s name has cropped in coal block allocation scam,which is being probed by CBI. According to General Administration Department (GAD),the scam,which has serious bearing on the Centre,cannot be suo motu tackled at the state level.

NCP had at an earlier meeting decided to sack ministers only if the apex court so directed.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said,“Despite court orders and ACB findings,the government is reluctant to proceed against any of these ministers. Unless the government gives permission,how can investigating agencies interrogate the ministers? The matter has come to a standstill because of lack of decision on part of the CM.”

Graft graph

Rajendra Darda (Congress)

Minister for School Education: Facing CBI probe in coal block allocation scam.

Sunil Tatkare (NCP)

Minister for Water Resources: Accused of floating benami (bogus) companies,which were awarded contracts in irrigation.

Gulabrao Deokar (NCP)

Minister of State for Transport: Corruption charge in affordable housing scam in Jalgaon.

Vijaykumar Gavit (NCP)

Minister for Higher Medical Education: Facing corruption charges for disbursement of funds to non-eligible people from central schemes meant for poor tribals.

Chhagan Bhujbal (NCP)

PWD Minister: Financial irregularities in construction of Maharashtra Sadan (Delhi). Charges of favouring kin in awarding contract for works related to the project.

Ganesh Naik (NCP)

Minister for Excise and Labour: The district magistrate had ordered criminal proceedings following charges of sale of land acquired for CEAT to another firm in Navi Mumbai.

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