Vilasrao Deshmukh refutes opposition demand for resignation

Thursday, December 16, 2010

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI - Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Thursday rejected an opposition demand for his resignation after the Supreme Court slammed him for abusing his position and preventing police from registering a criminal case against Congress MLA Dilipkumar Sanandas’s father Gokulchand Sananda during his tenure as Maharashtra Chief Minister.

The issue rocked the Maharashtra Assembly earlier today with members of the opposition firm on their demands asking Deshmukh to step from his post in the wake of the apex court’s verdict delivered on Wednesday.

“These are political things. I cannot expect anything positive from my opponents,” said Deshmukh reacting to the demands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena leaders in Maharshtra that he should quit over the issue.

Vilasrao Deshmukh further said he has asked for a certified copy of the Supreme Court judgement.

The Legislative Assembly in Nagpur witnessed similar disturbances on the issue.

“The judgement posted on the official website of the Supreme Court itself is a certified copy, the apex court had given a ruling on it,” said BJP leader Davendra Phadanvis, adding that Deshmukh’s explanation is a lame excuse.

The apex court on Tuesday pulled up Deshmukh for preventing police from registering a criminal case against Congress MLA Dilipkumar Sanandas’s father Gokulchand Sananda, a private money-lender, and also imposed a fine of Rs ten lakh on the state government.

An apex court bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said: ” The (former) Chief Minister should not have interfered with the criminal justice system.”

The court also dismissed the appeal of the state government, which had challenged the fine of Rs 25,000 imposed on it by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court.

The Bombay High Court had imposed the fine on March 5, 2009, on a petition filed by the farmers of Buldhana district, who alleged that the police refused to register a criminal case against Congress Gokulchand Sananda.

The fine was then imposed after finding “gross interference from the executive” in shielding a private financier belonging to the ruling party.

The Bombay High Court charged the state government after findings that said Deshmukh’s private secretary Ajinkya Padwal had called up the Khamgaon city police station in Maharashtra on May 31, 2006, twice to enquire about a complaint against Gokulchand Sananda.

It was also found that Deshmukh’s secretary asked the policemen not to take action on the complaint against Sananda. (ANI)

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