new Delhi: The Bombay High Court will on Wednesday hear a petition filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, seeking an inquiry by Maharashtra Bureau of Home Affairs Minister Anil Deshmukh by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Param Bir Singh has claimed that Deshmukh had asked police officer Sachin Waje to collect 100 crores from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Param Bir Singh initially filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which described the case as serious. But the former top policeman of Mumbai was ordered to go to the High Court. He then filed a criminal PIL in the Bombay High Court on 25 March.
In his petition, the IPS officer has also raised the issue of alleged corruption in police transfers and postings in Maharashtra. Senior advocate Vikram Nankani, appearing for Singh, referred the petition before the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni on Tuesday and demanded immediate hearing.
Chief Justice Dutta asked Nankani about the petition whether the PIL was viewable. Nankani said, “We will satisfy the court with a debate on the stability of the petition.” The High Court then asked for a hearing on Wednesday.
Singh made these allegations in a letter dated 20 March, which was sent to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other senior bureaucrats and politicians. He said Deshmukh told Waje that there are around 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai, if an amount of 2-3 lakhs is collected from each of them, it could be a monthly collection of 40-50 crores.
In February, Waje, former head of the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Mumbai Crime Branch, is in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his role in planting explosives in an SUV outside the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
In his PIL, Param Bir Singh also accused Deshmukh of regularly interfering in the police investigation and pressuring BJP leaders to implicate him in the suicide case of Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar.
Claiming that Deshmukh had met Waje in mid-February, Param Bir Singh demanded the High Court to direct the CBI to secure CCTV footage of the minister’s residence before it was “destroyed”.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government appointed a member committee to investigate Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh. The panel will include retired Bombay High Court Judge Kailash Uttamchand Chandiwal, who has been given a six-month deadline to submit the report.
Deshmukh denied the allegations and was supported by the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.