Friday, November 16, 2012

Guv overrules Modi govt, allows ministers prosecution

Ahmedabad: 29-07-12, Daily Eng. News.

Ahmedabad: Governor Dr Kamla has informed the Gujarat high court that she has
sanctioned the prosecution of minister of state for fisheries Parshottam Solanki in a Rs
400 crore fishing scam of 2008.This is the first case in the political history of Gujarat
that the governor has overruled the cabinet to allow criminal proceedings against a
Legal experts say that within a month a criminal case of fraud will be filed
under the Prevention of Corruption Act,forcing the minister to resign and prevent his re-
election to the assembly a few months from now.
An official communication to this effect was sent to the registrar of Gujarat HC
late on Friday.On March 30,the high court had directed the Narendra Modi government
to take a decision on the issue within three months,failing which the governor would
have final authority.
On June 30,hours before the deadline was to expire,the government informed
complainant Ishaq Maradia that the cabinet found there was no case against Solanki.
When Maradia,through his counsel Mukul Sinha,moved the court for contempt against
the government,the court gave three weeks to the governor to take a decision.
On examination of the files,Raj Bhavan found that the then chief secretary D
Rajagopalan had strongly opposed the fishing contracts.Rajagopalan's noting states:
This is against government policy of leasing our reservoir and dams for fishing and the
minister has no authority to change it.Such power is lying only with the cabinet and
unless cabinet changes policy,it cannot be given for any consideration.This matter has
never been put up before the cabinet.
It is well known that the Modi government was soft on Solanki because of his
substantial influence over Koli voters,which would be crucial to the BJP's fortunes in
the assembly elections due in December 2012.