MUMBAI: The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court admonished consumer affairs minister Girish Bapat and holding him guilty for misusing the office while cancelling his orders reinstating a license of a fair price shop cancelled by revenue officers.
In the case that came before the court, the minister had shielded a ration shop owner whose license had been cancelled by the concerned revenue officials after a thorough inquiry into the complaints lodged by the people. After learning about the ministers' orders people had moved to the court.
After hearing all the sides the High Court bench cancelled the ministers' order and lashed at his deeds. In his order, the minister had said that one more chance needs to be given to the shop owner.
"Ministers are custodians of the welfare of the people. They are the trustee and the protectors. However, in this case it clearly appears the minister has erred while carrying out his duties and given orders that can be termed as misuse of office and disregard for law," the court order has said.
Opposition Congress targeted the government over the issue.
"Almost half of the state cabinet has charges of corruption against them yet the chief minister has given clean chits to all of them. Now that there are court strictures against a minister, will the CM act," asked Sachin Sawant, spokesperson for Maharashtra Congress.