The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary investigation into allegations of corruption levelled against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh by former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni has asked the CBI to complete its `preliminary probe` within 15 days on the issues raised by Singh in his ‘letter-bomb` last month.
It is to be noted that Param Bir Singh was recently removed from the post of Mumbai Police Chief. In a petition, he has stated that he became the prime target of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray because he levelled several allegations against Anil Deshmukh including illegal transfers and extortions.
In the earlier hearing, the High Court bench had asked Singh why he did not file an FIR against the Maharashtra Home Minister on the basis of the allegations he levelled against him.’
“You are a police commissioner, why should the law be set aside for you? Are police officers, ministers, and politicians all above the law? Are you saying that you are above the law?” NDTV reported High Court Chief Justice CJ Dutta as saying.
“We cannot throw aside laws because the home minister and Chief Minister are involved. If a PM is involved who will investigate? You want a superpower from outside?”
The Maha Vikas Aghadi’s (MVA’s) other allies Shiv Sena and Congress had categorically stated that Singh’s letter was “a conspiracy to destabilize the government” and ostensibly written under “pressure” from central agencies.
Nawab Malik, the NCP National Spokesperson, and Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister said there were “too many” loopholes and until a full-fledged probe was carried out into all allegations raised, “there’s no question of Deshmukh’s resignation” and that Singh wrote the letter after he had been removed from the post of Mumbai CP.
Revenue Minister (Congress) Balasaheb Thorat said that the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) keeps targeting the government and different ministers, Sena’s Chief Spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said that the issue has “served to malign the image of the MVA”.
However, Prambir Singh said that the allegations filed in the petition were “hard facts coming from the person who occupied the highest post in the police force in the city and from someone who has served for more than 30 years.”
The court had reserved its orders after hearing Singh`s petition and some other PILs pertaining to the issue, on March 31. He has been arrested in the SUV case and is in NIA custody.
Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh set off a major row last month when he alleged that Deshmukh had asked suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore from Mumbai’s restaurants, bars and hookah bars.
(With IANS inputs)