Shortly after the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary probe into the corruption allegations levelled against Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, the latter resigned from his position citing “moral grounds”.
Notably, former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh had levelled serious allegations against the minister after he was shunted out of the Mumbai Police.
Deshmukh, who belongs to Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), in his resignation letter said that he does not want to continue as a minister as an investigation is on. The development comes as a surprise as the NCP leader had repeatedly asserted that he had done nothing wrong and even Sharad Pawar had extended support to Deshmukh.
What the HC said
The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the CBI to carry out a preliminary probe into the corruption allegations leveled against Anil Deshmukh by Param Bir Singh.
The court has asked the central probe agency to complete the preliminary probe within 15 days and then take a call on whether an FIR needs to be registered in the case or not.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni, while hearing a bunch of petitions seeking an independent investigation into the allegations, remarked that Deshmukh is the home minister and no impartial probe could be done by the police. The plea also alleged corruption in police transfers and postings.
The high court said it is an extraordinary and unprecedented case that warrants an independent inquiry.
Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Anil Deshmukh
After Singh was shunted out from his position in Mumbai Police over his alleged involvement in the Sachin Vaze case, he dropped a ‘letter bomb’ on the Uddhav Thackeray government making strong allegations against Deshmukh.
In the letter, Singh claimed that Deshmukh used to call police officers to his residence and give them “collection target”. The top cop claimed that the politician used to pressurise cops to collect at least Rs 100 crore per month from pubs, restaurants and other establishments.
He also accused the minister of interfering in investigations, ordering officers to act on basis of his political agenda ignoring the chain of command. Eventually, he moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe against the minister which asked him to approach the high court.
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