The Maharashtra Legislative Council was adjourned for 20 minutes on Monday morning amid an uproar by Opposition members who demanded suspension of a cooperation department official facing corruption charges, but state minister Atul Save rejected the demand citing an ongoing inquiry.
After the Council reassembled after 20 minutes at around 11:50 AM, the minister announced that the official is being sent on compulsory leave.
The issue was raised by Shiv Sena (UBT) legislator Narendra Darade alleging that an assistant registrar was allegedly converting a cooperative industrial society into a housing society.
Supporting him, Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap said, “the state government should suspend the concerned official immediately and complete the inquiry against him. (The official) Ashish Deshpande is infamous for bypassing laws. He has faced allegations of corrupt practices during his various postings”.
The minister said since inquiries are underway against Deshpande, the state government cannot suspend him.
Unhappy with the response, the Opposition members raised slogans against the government.
“The state government is afraid of an official who is infamous for corrupt practices. Deshpande has even violated the directives of the Bombay High Court in the past. Despite his notorious behaviour, why the state government is kneeling before him?” Jagtap asked.
Save, however, remained firm on not suspending Deshpande.
“If I suspend him, he will go to MAT and obtain a stay. There is no value to such suspension orders,” he said.
Amid continuous sloganeering by Opposition members, the Council was adjourned for twenty minutes.