Updated: September 3, 2021 10:35:38 am
THE CBI Thursday arrested Anand Daga, the lawyer of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, in connection with the alleged leak of a probe report of the investigative agency on allegations of policemen being coerced by Deshmukh to collect bribes on his behalf from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Daga had been detained by the agency on Wednesday evening,along with Deshmukh’s son-in-law Gaurav Chaturvedi, for questioning. While the agency let Chaturvedi go after a few hours, it arrested its own Sub-Inspector Abhishek Tiwari in connection with the alleged leak.
Following his arrest, Daga was produced at 1.40 am before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Mumbai, who granted his transit remand to Delhi. On Thursday afternoon, Daga and Tiwari were produced in a Delhi special court, which granted police custody to the CBI for two days.
In its remand application before Special Judge CBI Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav, the agency submitted that Tiwari “entered into criminal conspiracy” with Daga “and unknown others and disclosed case sensitive and confidential documents” to the lawyer “for the purpose of subverting the investigation of the CBI in lieu of undue advantage and illegal gratification to himself”.
In the application, which had sought seven-day police custody of Daga and Tiwari, the CBI stated that the “custodial interrogation of both the accused persons (is) necessary in the interest of the investigation of the case, in view of the facts and allegations”.
The document in question is said to be the purported Preliminary Enquiry (PE) report of the agency, which found that no cognizable offence was made out against Deshmukh on the allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh.
The Indian Express has, meanwhile, learnt that the supervising officer of CBI’s Delhi unit probing the case has been transferred. DIG Abhishek Dular, who headed the unit (Anti Corruption V), was sent to Jammu and Kashmir early in August, sources said.
CBI officials, however, said the transfer was “routine ” and followed Dular’s empanelment as DIG in May and subsequent promotion. “He was sent to J&K as the CBI branch in the UT was until now headed by an SP and it was thought essential to have a DIG there,” an official said.
At the CBI special court Thursday, Daga’s lawyer, Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, said that he is yet to receive a copy of the FIR, and that he had also sought a copy of the arrest memo. Tiwari was represented by legal aid counsel Santosh Singh.
Relying on a Supreme Court ruling, Mir told the court that “an accused is entitled to get a copy of FIR…They have lodged the FIR on August 31. So within 24 hours, they have to provide…Supreme Court has said all FIRs have to be put on a public platform, except in sensitive matters such as POCSO, terror, etc”.
Mir told the court that if the CBI hasn’t put up the FIR online, “they are in clear violation of the Supreme Court order”.
(With Deeptiman Tiwary & Omkar Gokhale)
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