Bombay High Court directs CBI to probe corruption allegations against Anil Deshmukh

"There can be no independent probe if it is given to Police as Deshmukh is HM. The interest of justice will be done if the Director of CBI is allowed to conduct a preliminary inquiry," the court said.

The Bombay High Court Monday directed the CBI to start a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into corruption allegations of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

In his PIL, Singh submitted that Deshmukh held meetings at his residence in February with police officers, including Waze and Patil, bypassing their seniors and told them that he targeted to collect Rs 100 crore every month and directed them to collect money from various establishments and sources. The court’s order also came on a plea filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Jaishri Patil.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni said, “We agree with Jaishri Patil that directions are required to order an unbiased probe to unearth the truth. There can be no independent probe if it is given to Police as Deshmukh is HM. The interest of justice will be done if the Director of CBI is allowed to conduct a preliminary inquiry. Such preliminary inquiry is ordered in accordance with law and be concluded within 15 days.”

In an eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh asked now suspended and arrested assistant police inspector Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai. Deshmukh has denied the allegations against him. The plea also sought directions to secure CCTV footage of places where alleged criminal conspiracy took place in the Ambani house bomb scare case as per Param Bir Singh’s letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Further, Singh said in August 2020, Rashmi Shukla, then Commissioner Intelligence, state intelligence department, had brought to the notice of the DGP about corruption in postings and transfers in Maharashtra. The DGP in turn had brought it to the knowledge of the Additional Chief Secretary (Home).

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