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Friday, April 16, 2021

Ex-top cop moves Bombay High Court; ruling alliance stands by minister: no tradition of resigning

Singh had earlier moved the Supreme Court, which on Wednesday asked him to move the Bombay HC first.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
March 26, 2021 3:31:25 am
Param Bir Singh newsFormer Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh approached the Bombay High Court seeking a CBI probe against Anil Deshmukh for alleged malpractices(file)

On a day former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh approached the Bombay High Court seeking a CBI probe against Anil Deshmukh for alleged malpractices, the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance reasserted its position that it would not take action against the Maharashtra Home Minister and would instead set up an inquiry under a former high court judge.

Singh had earlier moved the Supreme Court, which on Wednesday asked him to move the Bombay HC first.

“There is no such tradition (of resigning). And who says there cannot be an impartial probe till the person is on the post? If a retired high court judge probes a matter, then there is no need to resign,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.

“We used to think about it (resignation) earlier. Now, we feel that we should not fall prey to dirty politics being played by the Opposition. Otherwise, it will become a tradition to level false allegations and get resignations,” he added.

Sources said the issue of conducting a judicial inquiry into Singh’s allegations was discussed in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with senior NCP and Congress ministers on Wednesday.

Raut said Deshmukh himself has sought an inquiry into the allegations against him. “Nobody has objected to an inquiry. Deshmukh, Thackeray and other leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi have demanded the probe. Only the Opposition is saying that punishment should be given before inquiry. They should talk about the instances during their regime when they handed out punishment before holding an inquiry,” said Raut, adding there were “doubts” on several aspects of the letter — “whether Param Bir Singh wrote the letter, or someone wrote it and he signed it”.

In the criminal PIL that Singh moved in the Bombay HC, through advocate Akshay Bafna, he sought a direction to the state government to “ensure [that] transfer/posting of police officials are neither done on pecuniary benefits to any politician nor in contravention of SC orders based on principle of insulating police machinery from political/executive interference”.

Singh submitted that Deshmukh held meetings in February at his residence with police officers, including arrested API Sachin Waze and Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjay Patil, bypassing their seniors, and allegedly told them that he had a collection target of Rs 100 crore a month, and that they would have to collect the money from various establishments and sources.

“Fair independent investigation by the CBI is thus warranted in each of such acts of Deshmukh, which are in abuse of official position as home minister and are not part of official duty for which oath has been taken by him,” the PIL said.

The PIL also sought directions to the CBI to take custody of the entire CCTV footage from Deshmukh’s residence to “prevent destruction”.

Meanwhile, another PIL has been filed by advocate Ghanshyam Upadhyay seeking a HC-monitored probe by the CBI or Enforcement Directorate into the various ‘malpractices’ by police officers and politicians.

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