A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni had on Monday said this was an ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unprecedented’ case that warranted an independent inquiry
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, at the centre of a major controversy surrounding the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state, on Monday resigned from from his post.
The development came just hours after the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh against him.
Firstpost was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the letter written by Singh or the claims reportedly made in it.
“Deshmukh informed NCP chief Sharad Pawar that it won’t be appropriate to remain in the post as CBI will be probing the charges against him,” senior party minister Nawab Malik told reporters.
— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) April 5, 2021
Deshmukh submitted his resignation letter to Thackeray, Malik said.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said he is happy that Deshmukh has quit, adding there will be many “shocking revelations” in the CBI probe.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni had on Monday said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry.
The court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) director to complete the preliminary inquiry within 15 days and then take a decision on further course of action.
The bench was presiding over three public interest litigations, including one filed by Singh himself, another by city-based lawyer Jayshree Patil, and the third by teacher Mohan Bhide, seeking various reliefs.
The bench disposed of all the three pleas.
On 25 March, Singh filed a criminal public interest litigation seeking a CBI probe against Deshmukh, who he claimed asked police officers, including suspended cop Sachin Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants.
The PIL also raised the issue of alleged corruption in police transfers and postings in the state.
The minister has denied any wrongdoing.
Singh had initially approached the Supreme Court, alleging he was transferred from the post of Commissioner Police of Mumbai on 17 March and shunted to the Home Guards department after he complained to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other senior leaders about the “corrupt malpractices” of Deshmukh.
The apex court had termed the matter as quite serious, but asked Singh to approach the high court.
Singh then filed the PIL in the HC, reiterating his allegations against Deshmukh and seeking an “immediate, unbiased, impartial” probe by the CBI against Deshmukh, who is an NCP leader.
In his PIL, Singh also accused Deshmukh of routinely interfering in police investigations and putting pressure on him to implicate BJP leaders in the case of suicide of Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar.
Singh also sought a direction from the HC to the CBI to secure CCTV footage of Deshmukh’s residence from earlier this year before it was “destroyed”, and a direction to the state government to produce all records of communication received from IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in March 2020.
In February last year, Shukla levelled allegations of malpractices in police postings and transfers against Deshmukh and also informed her superiors about it, but soon afterwards she was transferred, the PIL alleged.
The court should pass directions to ensure that in future police officials are not transferred on account of “pecuniary benefits to any politician”, it said.
With inputs from PTI