After Rahul Gandhi expressed his disappointment over the state government’s move to reject the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam inquiry report, chief minister (CM) Prithviraj Chavan was quick to say that he would revise the decision. He said he would call a cabinet meeting and consult his colleagues before taking a final decision. Though it looks easy on paper, in reality, it won’t be easy for Chavan to revoke the decision to reject the report.
BJP leader Eknath Khadse told dna that Chavan does not have the power to revoke his earlier decision. “He will have to call a special session of the legislature or wait till the next budget session of the legislature in February 2014,” the leader of opposition in the assembly said.
Khadse said as per British parliament — Kaul and Shakdher reference — once a report is tabled in the House, it is the property of the House and the public. “After that, the cabinet has no right to revise its earlier decision. Else, it will keep doing it. If the cabinet reverses the decision, ignoring the legitimate reference, it will be an insult of the House,” he said.
“Our legislature structure is like a court. Once the case has gone to the Supreme Court from the high court, the high court has no right to review its decision. In this case, too, the CM has to seek the permission of the House,” Khadse said.
Anant Kalse, principal secretary, state legislature, said he won’t comment on the Adarsh issue as it is a very sensitive matter. Senior council Adhik Shirodkar said such a situation does not have a precedent. “If the government wants to review its earlier decision, then approaching the House will be the correct step. There are several ambiguities. Why did the government reject the report in the first place and why does it want to review it now?” he asked. Shirodkar said Rahul Gandhi’s style of functioning is harmful to democracy. “He is trying to project himself above the prevailing law and legislature structure. It seems to be a makeover saga for him,” said Shirodkar, former MP (Rajya Sabha) of the Shiv Sena.
However, Manikaro Thakre, Congress state unit president, welcomed Gandhi’s stand and also said that there was no need for Chavan to resign over his flip-flop on the Adarsh commission report. “Demanding the CM’s resignation is a political stunt by the opposition. The right to review the decision lies with the cabinet because the report was rejected by the cabinet,” said Thakre.
Khadse had said that Chavan has no right to continue as CM as he has lost the trust of his senior party leaders. “He was exposed after Gandhi asked the state to reconsider its decision to reject the Adarsh report. Chavan was also protecting corrupt leaders and bureaucrats who got apartments in a quid pro quo manner,” the BJP leader said.