Moving the Supreme Court to demand a CBI probe into the allegation that Anil Deshmukh runs an extortion racket with the help of cops, transferred Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh sought direction through his petition today for an immediate “unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair” CBI probe into the “corrupt malpractices” of the Maharashtra home minister. He wants that the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai CP, be quashed. He calls it “arbitrary” and “illegal”.
Singh’s petition in the top court comes just days after he wrote an eight-page letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and levelled a barrage of corruption charges against Deshmukh. He had alleged in the letter that Deshmukh had deputed policeman Sachin Vaze to extort Rs 100 crore a month from Mumbai’s small business establishments like bars, restaurants, etc.
In his petition, Singh invoked writ jurisdiction to seek an “unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair” investigation into the alleged corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh before evidence is destroyed.
“Deshmukh had been holding meetings in February 2021 at his residence with police officers including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service Branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors and had instructed them that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crore every month and had directed to collect money from various establishments and other sources,” he said.
Singh said that it is reliably learnt that on or about 24-25 August 2020, one Rashmi Shukla, Commissioner Intelligence, State Intelligence Department, had brought to the notice of the Director General of Police, who in turn brought it to the knowledge of the state’s additional chief secretary home department, about corrupt malpractices in postings/transfers by Deshmukh based on telephonic interception.
“She was shunted out rather than taking any firm action against said Anil Deshmukh,” he claimed.
He said that Deshmukh had been interfering in various investigations and was instructing the police officers to conduct the same in a particular manner as desired by him.
‘Deshmukh wanted to implicate BJP leaders’
Citing one such incident, Singh alleged that Deshmukh wanted to implicate BJP leaders in the case of suspected suicide by Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar.
MP Mohan Delkar was found dead in his Mumbai hotel room on 22 February and left behind a 15-page suicide note.
Singh said that after initial inquiries and report, he initiated investigation into the matter and sought advice from the police department’s legal cell.
“The petitioner was time and again pressurised by the Minister for Home, Government of Maharashtra to probe the role of certain leaders of BJP and somehow implicate them. It is submitted that there was tremendous pressure to give the entire episode a political angle. The petitioner however did not succumb to the pressure,” Singh claimed in the petition.
Singh said that his transfer from the post of Mumbai CP was “illegal” and “arbitrary” without the completion of the minimum fixed tenure of two years.
“The said transfer was maliciously effected purportedly under Section 22 N(2) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 with the reason that the transfer was necessitated by administrative exigencies”, he said in his plea.
The senior police officer further said that it is a settled law that the orders have to stand on the reasons contained in the same and no reasons can be supplemented later.
Referring to the 25 February incident of Antilia, the house of businessman Mukesh Ambani, where a car with explosives was found leading to a bomb scare, Singh said that he believes that the reason for the transfer noted by the state government in its file is to ensure a free and fair investigation in the case.
He said that the said case is being now investigated by the NIA, and Sachin Vaze, officer of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai has been arrested for custodial interrogation by NIA.
“All necessary assistance had been rendered by petitioner’s office and his officers for the conduct of a free and fair investigation by the ATS and the NIA into the Antilia incident. It is not even case of NIA that the petitioner had in any manner obstructed in free and fair investigation by NIA”, he said.
Singh said that such transfer in the said circumstances is for reasons “smeared with malice”, when there is no iota of material or evidence, far from proof, found or even imputed against the him and is solely based on conjectures, surmises and pure speculation.
Param Bir Singh has sought a CBI probe against Anil Deshmukh too.