Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan on Wednesday rejected the leave application of State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, who is involved in the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society scam.

Mr. Tiwari sought leave from January 7 to March 31.

He is one of the two former IAS officials who were asked by the government to step down. The other, Subhash Lalla, resigned as member of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission two days ago. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said in Aurangabad that the government would take action against Mr. Tiwari.

When contacted on the phone, Mr. Tiwari told The Hindu: “I had applied for leave owing to some personal problems. I have not taken any leave before.” He refused to comment whether he was likely to resign.

Mr. Tiwari's refusal to resign leaves the government with the only option of removing him. Since the post of Information Commissioner is statutory, the government will have to initiate certain steps for his removal: it will have to send a report to the Governor and make out a case for his removal. The Governor, in turn, will send a request to the Supreme Court, which will have to conduct an inquiry. Official sources said the Governor had the powers to suspend him, pending the inquiry.