The Maharashtra government today moved the Supreme Court, challenging the Bombay High Court order directing the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into the allegations of corruption and misconduct against ex-Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had made these charges against the former home minister of the state.
“We have filed an appeal on behalf of state government against the Bombay High Court of yesterday,” said Maharashtra standing counsel Sachin Patil. After the high court order on Monday, Deshmukh, a veteran politician from Vidarbha, resigned from the state government.
Newly appointed Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil announced the decision to move the apex court. While stating that he had taken over the charge of state home ministry at a very difficult time, Walse-Patil said: “The police force is working actively on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic… They have to maintain not only law and order but also help enforce the Covid restrictions. Besides, this month there are festivals like Gudi Padwa, Ram Navami, Mahavir Jayanti and the start of the Ramadan month.”
Ensuring to strive for a clean police administration devoid of any political interference, Walse-Patil said he would seek advice from the Police top brass and retired top cops on how to strengthen and modernise the police force.
The high court had said that this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry.
Singh, in his plea filed on 25 March, sought the CBI probe against Deshmukh who, he claimed, had asked police officers, including suspended cop Sachin Waze, to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants. Deshmukh has denied any wrongdoing.
The HC passed the ruling on criminal PIL by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, seeking a CBI probe against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh for alleged malpractices along with other two PILs seeking an independent probe.
Following the High Court’s order, Anil Deshmukh had tendered his resignation to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Deshmukh is the second minister in the MVA government to resign under a cloud — Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Rathod resigned as Forest Minister on 28 February after he was linked to the death of a 22-year-old woman in Pune. State Minister of Labour and Excise Dilip Walse-Patil, a close confidant of Pawar who has served as his personal assistant, is the new Home Minister.