Ready to face CBI probe into Jadhav's charges: Patil

Both Houses of the Maharashtra legislature saw several adjournments over the issues of the alleged assault on a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) MLA and the probe into the Adarsh Housing Society scam.

Eknath Khadse, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, launched a scathing attack on State Home Minister R R Patil over the alleged beating of MLA Harshavardhan Jadhav by the police this January. The MLA allegedly breached the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's security cordon.

Displaying photographs of injuries sustained by the MLA, Mr. Khadse said while he did not endorse Mr. Jadhav's offence, the police had no right to beat a people's representative in a brutal manner. He demanded the officers responsible should be suspended and strict action should be taken against them.

Mr. Jadhav, who was present in the house, alleged that Mr. Patil had conspired to arrest him on an earlier occasion. He said he had wanted to meet Mr. Chavan regarding the sale of illicit liquor in his constituency against which the police and the Home department had not taken any action.

However, Mr. Chavan denied having received any request for appointment from Mr. Jadhav. In his reply, Mr. Patil refuted Mr. Jadhav's allegations. He said Mr. Jadhav had prior cases against him, which also needed probing. He pointed out that the MLA had assaulted a woman constable.

“Who punched and kicked a woman constable? Police personnel have been injured in the scuffle too. Who beat them? Who started the [fight]? There are stringent security arrangements for VIPs. As a people's representative he should have set an example by adhering to the rules,” the Minister said.

The matter was subjudice and the government had transferred the concerned police officers to ensure a free and fair investigation. Mr. Patil said he was ready to be probed by the Central bureau of Investigation for the charges levelled by Mr. Jadhav. As the Opposition MLAs raised a din in the well, there were four adjournments, the last of which was for the day.

Meanwhile, the Legislative Council too was adjourned four times as the Opposition demanded a discussion on the Adarsh matter. Shivajirao Deshmukh, Chairman of the Council, rejected an adjournment motion seeking a discussion under rule 289.

Opposition members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena marched to the well and shouted the slogan “justice delayed is justice denied.”

An hour-long discussion on the Adarsh was then scheduled for Monday.