Published On : Fri, Apr 10th, 2020

Amitabh Gupta sent on compulsory leave after Wadhawans flout lockdown norms

Maharashtra Special Principal Secretary in the Home Department, IPS officer Amitabh Gupta, who allegedly gave permission to the Wadhawan family of DHFL Group to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar amid the COVID-19 lockdown, has been sent on compulsory leave with immediate effect until completion of the probe in the matter.

“Amitabh Gupta has been sent on compulsory leave with immediate effect till the pending of inquiry, which will be initiated against him,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted on Friday. 23 members of the Wadhawan family have been placed under institutional quarantine by the local police in Mahabaleshwar after violating the lockdown.

Deshmukh had on Thursday said that the matter would be investigated and an enquiry will be conducted into how permission was given for 23 members of the family to travel from Khandala to Mahabaleshwar in the middle of the lockdown. Meanwhile, BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took a jibe at the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government and asked whether there’s no lockdown in the state for the mighty and the rich.

“No lockdowns for the mighty and rich in Maharashtra? One can spend holidays in Mahabaleshwar with official permission from the police. It is not possible that a senior IPS officer would make such a gross mistake knowing the consequences on his own,” Fadnavis tweeted. Further, seeking an explanation over the incident, Fadnavis in a subsequent tweet said, “With whose order or blessings was this done? Mr. CM and HM, you owe us an explanation.”

Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta reportedly confronted Amitabh Gupta over his letter exempting the Wadhawan family, citing ‘family emergency’. According to an officer who did not wish to be named, Amitabh Gupta accepted it was a mistake on his part but indicated that the letter was issued at the behest of someone higher up.