Politician crime cases: Opposition to rake up issue in upcoming winter session
mid-day impact: Oppn leader in House Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil says will also bring privilege motion against CM
Just a day after mid-day exposed how an RTI query revealed that on the recommendation of a sub-committee of ministers and officials, 41 criminal cases against political leaders have been disposed of even though there was enough evidence against them, Opposition leader in the House Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said they would raise the issue in the upcoming winter session of the state Assembly. The RTI enquiry filed by activist Shakeel Ahmed has revealed that the sub-committee headed by Cabinet Minister of Finance and Planning and Forest department, Sudhir Mungantiwar, flouted the norms of the Government Resolution issued in August 2016 to "favour" the politicos, who are primarily from the BJP. Taking cognisance of the matter, the Opposition has decided to not only raise the issue in the House but also bring a privilege motion against the chief minister in the upcoming winter session scheduled to begin on November 19.
Speaking to mid-day, Patil said, "The government is ignoring the law by withdrawing cases against their political leaders, which is highly objectionable. It is undermining the authority of the judiciary as well. The matter is extremely serious, hence we have decided to bring it up in the next session." On being asked about the directions that have been issued by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) to withdraw cases against Sambhaji Bhide, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon and 2008 Sangli protest cases, Patil said, "We have been demanding action against Bhide since a very long time, but the chief minister gave him a clean chit in the Bhima Koregaon case in the Assembly. The law of the land should prevail. If the government does not initiate action against him, we'll have to move court in the matter. By giving directions to withdraw cases against Bhide, the CM is going against the assurance given by him in the Assembly. He had said that all charges against Bhide would be investigated. And even the cops have enough evidence against him in the Sangli protest case. We will also bring a privilege motion against the CM in the winter session."
In its front-page report on November 12, mid-day highlighted how an RTI query has revealed that in little over a year, the sub-committee of ministers and officials disposed of 41 criminal cases against politicos. These cases include damage to property in crores and one of them had even resulted in three deaths. All these cases, mostly against MLAs and senior party leaders, were scrapped between June 2017 and September 2018, based on the 2016 GR. However, this was not the first time that the government tried to quash cases against politicians. A petition filed under RTI revealed that the state had earlier passed three GRs in similar attempts but failed each time.
Day the winter session starts
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