The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and its former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh today asked the Supreme Court to cancel a preliminary CBI probe into allegations of corruption ordered against him. The Bombay High Court had on Monday sought the probe based on charges leveled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. A team of the investigating agency was to reach Mumbai today to initiate the process.
Mr Singh, in his plea filed on March 25, sought such a probe against Mr Deshmukh who, he claimed, had asked police officers, including suspended cop Sachin Waze, to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants. Mr Waze has been arrested by the NIA in connection with the probe into the explosive-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai.
Even though the High Court questioned Mr Singh for not filing a case against Mr Deshmukh till then, it said a probe by an independent agency was necessary to “instill public confidence and safeguard the fundamental rights of the citizens”. The High Court had called the situation arising out of Mr Singh’s petition “extraordinary” and “unprecedented”, warranting an independent inquiry.
Within hours of the High Court order yesterday, Mr Deshmukh resigned, citing moral grounds.
Mr Singh’s petition also accused Mr Deshmukh of corruption in police transfers and postings. Both he and his party, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, have denied the allegations.
They have said that Mr Singh, removed from the Mumbai Commissioner’s post over the alleged mishandling of the Ambani bomb-scare case, was trying to divert attention from his own affairs.