Updated: March 23, 2021 8:54:06 pm
A Mumbai-based lawyer on Tuesday moved a criminal writ petition before the Bombay High Court, seeking an investigation by the CBI or any other independent agency against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh along with others in connection with the recent controversy.
Advocate Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil, who filed the plea, also sought directions for police to take cognizance of a written complaint lodged by her before the Malabar Hill police station, seeking an FIR to be registered in the case.
The petition also sought directions for investigating officers (IO) to secure CCTV footage of the places where the alleged criminal conspiracy took place, as per Singh’s letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Three days after being removed as Mumbai police commissioner and posted to the home guard in the wake of the Ambani house bomb scare case, Singh last Saturday wrote to Thackeray, alleging that Deshmukh had asked now suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from 1,750 bars and restaurants, in Mumbai. Waze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently.
The contents of the eight-page letter to Thackeray are not linked to the Antilia security case. However, Singh said he had to pay the price for resisting Deshmukh’s “interference” in the Mumbai Police’s work.
Singh on Monday moved the Supreme Court, seeking an independent CBI probe into the alleged malpractices by Deshmukh. Referring to Singh’s letter, the plea before the high court alleged that Deshmukh is “abusing his powers by instructing officers to extort money from businessmen/common people. He is not trustworthy as the state home minister.”
Seeking a probe against Singh as Mumbai police commissioner, the petition said: “He was the superior police officer and had powers to take steps in accordance with the law under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. But he failed to do so for what reasons is the matter of investigation.”
The petitioner added that the Malabar Hill police station had failed to register an FIR on her complaint and if prompt action is not taken, the crucial evidence could be destroyed by the errant officials.
Another petition has been filed by Hemant Baburao Patil, a Pune-based activist, seeking directions to the Maharashtra Police or any other independent agency under the supervision of the high court against Waze and his associates for offences and against Deshmukh and Singh under Section 166 (public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court will hear the pleas in due course.
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