Mumbai: After Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh himself demanded a probe into the allegations made against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reportedly has appointed a retired high court judge to probe the alleged extortion case. The same was confirmed by Anil Deshmukh on Sunday.
“Maharashtra CM has decided that the allegations levelled against me by former Mumbai Police Commissioner will be probed by a retired high court judge,” said Deshmukh.
The minister had earlier written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, urging him to order a probe into the allegations.
“I had demanded the honourable chief minister to order a probe into Param Bir Singh’s allegation against me to clear the air. I will welcome if the honourable chief minister orders probe,” Deshmukh wrote on Twitter.
In his letter, Deshmukh had said that there is “no truth” in the allegations.
Ex-Police Commissioner of Mumbai, Param Bir Singh had written a letter to Thackeray alleging that Deshmukh had indulged in “malpractices” and asked suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze to collect ₹100 crore every month.
Meanwhile, Singh on Thursday filed public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court seeking an “immediate and unbiased” probe against Deshmukh.
Singh said in his plea that Deshmukh held meetings at his residence with several Mumbai police officials, including Sachin Vaze, in February this year.
In these meetings, Deshmukh instructed the officers to collect ₹100 crore per month from various establishments, the plea reads. It added that Deshmukh regularly interfered with police functioning and often misused his office.
Deshmukh’s conduct warranted a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the plea read.
The former Mumbai police commissioner also accused Deshmukh of indulging in “corrupt malpractices” in transfers and postings of police officers.
Singh apprised chief minister Thackeray of these allegations, but “immediately thereafter, on March 17” he was shunted out to the Home Guards Department without allowing him to complete the “minimum fixed tenure of two years”, he said.
Later, Deshmukh said in an interview that Singh’s colleagues made serious lapses in the investigation of the recovery of the explosives-laden vehicle near Mukesh Ambani’s house.
However, there were five other senior officers between him and assistant police inspector Vaze who were also handling the probe, and all necessary assistance was given by his office, Singh claimed.
The investigation has become a huge embarrassment for the Maharashtra government, with the opposition BJP accusing Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray of shielding Vaze, a controversial cop who was once a member of his Shiv Sena.
The case involves a Scorpio SUV carrying gelatin sticks found abandoned on Mumbai’s Carmichael Road, near Mukesh Ambani’s Antilia, on February 25. It carried a threat letter to Mukesh and Nita Ambani. Sachin Waze was the first investigating officer in the case but is now suspected to have planned the incident.