Plea before Bombay HC seeks independent probe against Anil Deshmukh, Param Bir Singh

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A Mumbai-based lawyer Tuesday filed a criminal writ petition before the Bombay High Court seeking an investigation by the CBI or any other independent agency against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, along with others in connection with allegations against Deshmukh.

Advocate Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil, who filed the plea before HC also sought directions to police to take cognizance of a written complaint lodged by her before the Malabar Hill Police station in south Mumbai, seeking registration of an FIR in connection with the case.

The petition also sought directions to the investigating officers (IO) to secure CCTV footage of the places where the alleged criminal conspiracy took place as per Singh’s letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray.

Three days after he was removed as Mumbai Police Commissioner and posted to the Home Guard in wake of the Ambani house bomb scare case, Param Bir Singh on last Saturday wrote to Thackeray, alleging that Deshmukh had asked Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze, who was later arrested by the NIA in the bomb scare case, to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from some 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.

The contents of the eight-page letter to the Chief Minister, in which Singh attacked Deshmukh, are not linked to the Antilia security case, however, he suggests at the end of the letter that he had to pay the price for resisting Deshmukh’s “interference” in work of the Mumbai Police.

The former Mumbai police commissioner on Monday had moved the Supreme Court seeking an independent CBI probe into alleged malpractices by Deshmukh.

Referring to Singh’s letter, the plea by Patil before the court alleged that, “The Home Minister has, as a regular practice, been repeatedly calling officers and giving them instructions in respect of the course to be followed by them in performance of their official duties. The Home Minister has been calling officers at his official residence bypassing other superior officers of the Police Department to whom those respective Police Officers report to. “

It added, “He has been instructing them to carry out official assignments and collection schemes including financial transactions as per his instructions based on his expectations and targets to collect money. These corrupt malpractices have been brought to notice by the respondent Singh.”

The petition also claimed that Deshmukh is allegedly “abusing his powers by calling and instructing the Police Officers for extorting Money from the businessmen/common citizens, therefore, he is not trustworthy as he is the person holding the Position of the Home Minister of the state.”

While seeking probe into the alleged role played by Singh as Mumbai CP, the petition said, “Undoubtedly, he himself for a year as a head of Mumbai Police, without bringing such heinous crime in the clutches of law, he was just sitting on it and it doesn’t show good intention. It shows his role as well, as he was the superior police officer and was having powers to take steps in accordance with the law under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, but he failed to do so for what reasons is the matter of investigation, after registration of FIR.”

The petitioner also said that the Malabar Hill police station failed to register an FIR on her complaint and apprehended through the plea the destruction of evidence by “powerful” persons and therefore petition before HC.

Patil added that if prompt action is not taken, the crucial evidence may be destroyed by the errant officials.

In light of this, the petition sought directions to CBI, ED or any other independent agency to conduct ‘unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the alleged malpractices by Deshmukh, Singh and others.

Another petition has also been filed by a Pune-based activist, Hemant Baburao Patil, seeking directions to Maharashtra Police or any other independent agency under the supervision of High Court against Waze and his associates for offences including extortion and against Deshmukh and Singh under section 166 (Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person) of the Indian Penal Code

The high court will hear the pleas in due course.

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