Ramanand Tiwari suspended

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan today suspended State Information Commissioner for Greater Mumbai Ramanand Tiwari with immediate effect. Tiwari’s name came up in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam. The order passed by the Governor has prohibited Tiwari from attending office, pending conclusion of the inquiry or until further orders to be passed in the matter. The order says the Governor, having carefully examined the entire material placed before him, is satisfied there was a “prima facie case” of misbehaviour and misconduct made out against Tiwari, and accordingly made reference to the Supreme Court for inquiry as to whether Tiwari be removed from the office of State Information Commissioner under Section 17(1) of the RTI Act.
In a 4-page order, the Governor said he was satisfied that there were serious charges/allegations made out in the reference to the Supreme Court against Tiwari, particularly with regard to his alleged role in the Adarsh Housing Society Scam. Tiwari, a former IAS officer, was asked to resign by the Maharashtra government following his alleged involvement in scam. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had initiated removal procedures. However, Tiwari, who met the Governor on Sunday to plead his case, did not step down and hinted he would challenge the state government’s move in a court of law. Tiwari’s son, Omkar Tiwari, has a flat in Adarsh. He reportedly withheld information on the controversial housing society. He was secretary of the urban development department from 2000 to 2009 and is alleged to have played a key role in his son’s membership with the society. Earlier, Tiwari had applied for a three-month leave starting January 7. The application was rejected by the Governor.