Panel probing charges against Anil Deshmukh an eyewash: Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Express News Service
MUMBAI: Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis raised questions over the constitution of retired High court judge KU Chandiwal committee, which has been formed to probe the allegations against Maharashtra Home minister Anil Deshmukh.

Devendra Fadnavis said the panel formed is just a committee and not a judicial commission adding that this one-man committee has neither been constituted nor been given requisite powers under The Commissions of Inquiry Act 1952.

He said this one-man committee has neither constituted nor has been given the powers under The Commissions of Inquiry Act 1952.

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“When we constituted the Justice Zoting Committee to probe allegations against Eknath Khadse in MIDC land case, this committee had given the right and power of quasi-judicial to carry out the probe. But the present Maha Vikas Aghadi government has made the powerless committee to probe the sitting home minister Anil Deshmukh,” said Fadnavis.

“We are of the view that appointing such committee is merely eyewash and does not solve any purpose, looking at the gravity and severity of the allegations. Now the question remains how will a retired judge without power enquire against a sitting Home Minister,” he added.

The state government on Tuesday set up the committee to be headed by retired high court judge Kailash Uttamchand Chandiwal.

The panel is given the time of six months to submit its report to the state government.

Earlier, NCP leader and minister Jitendra Awhad had said that the orders issued to set up the Zoting and Chandiwal panels were almost identical.

Awhad had tagged Fadnavis in his tweet and sought production of official order, if any, issued by the then CM empowering the Zoting Committee with the Commission of Inquiry Act.

Fadnavis responded with a letter issued by his government delegating powers under the Commission of Inquiry Act to the Zoting Committee.

(With PTI inputs)