The Supreme Court Tuesday pulled up former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for interfering in the enforcement of a law to regulate private money lending in the state.Deshmukh is currently union minister for heavy industries.
“The chief minister has no business to interfere in the functioning of the 1946 Act to regulate money lending in the state,” said Justice G.S. Singhvi in the judgment, concurring with Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly.
Speaking for the bench, Justice Ganguly dismissed the Maharashtra government’s appeal challenging the Bombay High Court order indicting Deshmukh and imposing a fine of Rs.25,000.
Dismissing the appeal, the apex court enhanced the cost to Rs.10 lakh.
Deshmukh invited the reprimand of the apex court for interfering with the police action on a complaint by farmers alleging family members of Congress MLA Dilip Kumar Sananda were involved in money lending.
Deshmukh’s private secretary Ambadas had asked the police not to register a FIR on the complaint of the farmers. This instruction of Ambadas was recorded in the police diary.
Subsequently, Deshmukh called the district collector and instructed him that he would personally look into the matter before any action was taken on the complaint against the family members of Sananda.
Deshmukh was indicted by the high court on both these counts. The apex court has slammed him for interfering in the enforcement of the state law for regulating private money lending.