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Maha CM nod for suspension of Info Commissioner after raids

Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has approved the proposal to suspend Information Commissioner Deepak Deshpande after ACB raided his premises in connection with a corruption case.

Maharashtra’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) last week searched Deshpande’s properties, including a bungalow in Aurangabad, in the ‘Maharashtra Sadan’ corruption case.

“The chief minister has approved the file pertaining to suspension of Deshpande,” a senior state government official told PTI today.

ACB officials have claimed to have unearthed multiple houses, vehicles and gold owned by him, and assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

According to the ACB, Deshpande owns five homes in Aurangabad, where he is posted currently as Information Commissioner, three homes in Pune and one in Thane.

Apart from five hectares of farmland in Aurangabad, a search at Deshpande’s homes also unearthed Rs 2.68 crore in cash and bonds, and Rs 50 lakh in three bank accounts.

According to an FIR filed by the ACB, Deshpande is alleged to have helped get developer K S Chamankar’s proposal approved to build a regional transport office (RTO) in Andheri.

Key accused Chhagan Bhujbal, former PWD minister, is alleged to have chaired a meeting in 2001 during which the proposal, which was previously rejected by the transport and home departments, was approved.

Chamankar was subsequently awarded contracts to construct the ‘Maharashtra Sadan’ in New Delhi and a state government guest house in Malabar Hill area.

Deshpande, a 1976-batch MPSC officer who holds an M Tech degree from IIT-Bombay, held positions in the PWD and the Maharashtra State Roads Development Corporation (MSRDC) and is also a member of the Institution of Engineers.

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