In a new twist to the alleged Rs100-crore extortion case, suspended cop Sachin Vaze on Tuesday told the State-appointed one-member high level enquiry committee that neither former home minister Anil Deshmukh, nor any of his staff, ever made monetary demands. Vaze also said he had not collected any money from city's bar owners or people related to them.
This testimony assumes significance as it could be seen as a “clean chit” for Deshmukh, who is in judicial custody after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.
Vaze and Deshmukh were brought before Justice (retd.) Kailash Chandiwal, who is conducting an enquiry into the allegations made by former top cop Parambir Singh in his letter written to the chief minister. Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had instructed Vaze to extort over Rs 100 crore per month from the city's bars and restaurants.
The commission is examining the statements made by Vaze and he was being cross examined by advocate Girish Kulkarni, appearing for Deshmukh.
Upon being asked about the allegation, Vaze said, “there was no monetary demand made by Deshmukh or any of his staff, ever. I would like to clarify here that I didn't take any money from any of the bar owners in the city or people related to them.”
On Monday, Vaze had claimed that he was reinstated on merits. Earlier in his testimony, he had clarified that Deshmukh's personal assistant (PA) Sanjeev Palande hadn't made any monetary demands of him and that he had met the PA only once for official purposes.
The commission will continue to examine Vaze on December 21.
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