Mumbai, Jan 16 (Agencies): Putting the Maharashtra Government in a quandary, a defiant Ramanand Tiwari on Sunday said he will not quit as Information Commissioner and will challenge the recommendation to the governor to suspend him following his alleged involvement in the Adarsh Housing scam.

"I am not quitting but will challenge the suspension process," Tiwari said after a 10-minute meeting with the Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan here.

Alleging "misconduct" by Tiwari in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, the State Cabinet had on January 11 recommended his suspension to the governor.

The former IAS official said during the meeting, he "presented" his side of the story.

"I am not going to step down and I have informed the Governor. The Government has already appointed a commission to probe the matter and truth would be out soon," Tiwari said, adding, "I am willing to face the inquiry."

"I feel that any other action at this stage against me will not be fair.....the media has made out that I am the main culprit. I deny that," he said.

Tiwari said during his stint as urban development department secretary several files came to him for clearances.

"However, the decision to clear land reservation and land transfers is a decision taken by the state and not by me," he added.

"I continue to attend office as I have not got any communication from the state government asking me not to attend office," Tiwari, a retired IAS officer, whose son owns a flat in Adarsh society, said earlier this week.

To a query on whether he should resign on moral grounds, the official said, "I cannot be held guilty for my son having a flat in the society."
Another retired IAS officer Subhash Lalla resigned as member of the State Human Rights Commission last week. The government had asked Tiwari to quit the post on moral grounds but he defiantly rejected the suggestion and instead applied for a three-month leave, which was turned down by Governor.

The Cabinet recommended to the Governor to refer to the Supreme Court the matter of misconduct by Tiwari, under section 17 of the Right to Information Act. It also suggested that Tiwari be suspended from the post and barred from remaining present in office till the inquiry is on.

"For Tiwari to continue in office is not in the interest of the state. We have submitted enough grounds to take action against Tiwari and the Governor will send the recommendation to the Supreme Court which will hold an inquiry and decide whether to suspend him or terminate his services," Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said after the Cabinet meeting.