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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Devendra Fadnavis: How can any retired judge investigate serving home minister without powers

Under the Act, a commission can summon any person from any part of India and examine him or her under oath.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: April 1, 2021 1:38:00 am
Devendra Fadnavis newsDevendra Fadnavis, said on Wednesday that the inquiry commission set up by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to probe former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh's allegations of corruption against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh be brought under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 (File)

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, said on Wednesday that the inquiry commission set up by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to probe former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh be brought under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, giving it judicial powers.

“The state government, under pressure, has announced a committee led by former retired judge Kailash Chandiwal. The committee has the status of a commission but no judicial powers… Therefore, we demand that the commission be brought under the Commission of Inquiry Act,” Fadnavis told mediapersons.

Maintaining that the commission is an eye wash in its present form, he added: “Without judicial powers, it will be redundant and toothless. Its powers to summon individuals or gather documents or evidence will be limited.”
On Tuesday, the MVA government had appointed retd Bombay High Court judge Kailash Chandiwal to probe Singh’s charges against Deshmukh. Singh, in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had alleged that Deshmukh had assigned police officer Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore per month by extorting hotels, restaurants and bars.

“Taking into consideration the seriousness of the charges, how can any retired judge investigate a serving home minister without powers? If the commission is empowered under the Commission of Inquiry Act, it would serve the stated objective of a thorough probe,” said Fadnavis.

Under the Act, a commission can summon any person from any part of India and examine him or her under oath. It is also empowered to seek any document and public record as well as receive evidence. It enjoys the power to seek information even from an individual who has claimed privilege.

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