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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Explained: Who is Santosh Shankar Jagtap, arrested by CBI in Anil Deshmukh case?

Santosh Shankar Jagtap allegedly acted as the go-between in the transfers and postings of police officers when Anil Deshmukh was the home minister of Maharashtra, said CBI sources

Written by Khushboo Narayan , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: November 2, 2021 12:10:12 pm
Anil Deshmukh. (Express photo/Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday made its first arrest in the corruption and bribery case against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. The agency arrested a private person named Santosh Shankar Jagtap from his residence in Thane, Maharashtra. Sources said Jagtap had been absconding since the time the CBI registered its FIR in the case and charged Deshmukh with corruption in April.

Who is Santosh Shankar Jagtap?

A resident of Thane’s posh Vasant Vihar area, Jagtap allegedly acted as the go-between in the transfers and postings of police officers when Anil Deshmukh was the home minister, said CBI sources. Jagtap’s name cropped up in recordings of call intercepts of certain phone numbers done by former Maharashtra DGP Rashmi Shukla to authenticate complaints of corruption in police transfers and postings. These intercepts, which are now with the CBI, form the basis of the agency’s probe against Deshmukh.

What’s his role in the cash-for-transfer-and-posting scam that the CBI is investigating?

According to sources, Jagtap was the crucial link between the police officers and the minister. The intercepts allegedly show that he promised favourable postings to officers in lieu of cash. Sources said a number of current and former ministers in Maharashtra know Jagtap well and allegedly used his services too.

Why has the CBI arrested Jagtap?

Following the FIR against Deshmukh in April, the agency had summoned Jagtap directing him to join its investigation. However, he skipped multiple summons by the CBI and went missing. In August, the agency searched his residence at Jasmine Towers in Thane and seized Rs 9 lakh from his house. Subsequently in September, the CBI moved court and obtained a non-bailable warrant against him. Since Jagtap was absconding, the officials investigating the case kept a close watch on his relative and his house, said sources. Early on Sunday morning, when he dropped by his house, the CBI officials on watch arrested him. Jagtap has been remanded in custody till November 4.

What is CBI’s case against Anil Deshmukh?

The CBI has alleged that Deshmukh and unknown others attempted to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of his public duty. The CBI is probing Deshmukh for exercising “undue influence” over the transfer and posting of police officials as alleged by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

The agency initiated a probe against Deshmukh after the Bombay High Court directed it to carry out a preliminary enquiry into the allegations made by Singh against Deshmukh.

According to the probe agency, its preliminary enquiry has found that Deshmukh was aware of the reinstatement of the now arrested assistant police inspector (API) Sachin Waze into the police force after 15 years, and sensitive and “sensational” cases being given to him for investigation. Waze is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the Ambani house bomb scare and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.

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