MUMBAI: In a development in the Rs. 100 crore alleged extortion case, the prime accused and former state home minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday told the state-appointed one member enquiry committee that he personally doesn't know Sachin Vaze .
This assumes significance as former top cop Param Bir Singh in his March 20, 2021, letter to the Chief Minister has claimed that Deshmukh had instructed Vaze to extort Rs 100 crore per month from city's bars and restaurants.
Deshmukh is being cross-examined before the state-appointed committee under the chairmanship of Justice (retd.) Kailash Chandiwal.
On Monday, Deshmukh stated that he had received some complaints from officers within the CID that the probe in the suicide of architect Anvay Naik wasn't done in a proper manner. He said that he had even met Naik's daughter, who had sought a proper probe in the suicide of her father, who had named Republic TV Editor Arnab Goswami.
Deshmukh said, "I had ordered a CID probe by another officer as I had received complaints from some officers within the department. However, I can't specify as to which officers made the complaints to me."
The senior NCP leader Deshmukh, upon being asked, said he doesn't remember exactly when senior IPS officer Milind Bharambe was appointed as the Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime in the city and that if he was appointed after or before the reinstatement of Vaze.
Vaze's counsel further sought to know if the head of the Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) should be reporting to the Joint CP, to which Deshmukh responded, "I think as per rules, he (CIU chief) ought to report to the Joint CP with the department's functioning."
Further, Deshmukh was asked if Bharambe made any complaint to him that Vaze being the CIU head didn't report to him. "I haven't received any such complaint before March 30, 2021."
On a specific question to Deshmukh asking if he ever instructed Vaze to assist in the probes pertaining to black marketing of masks in the city or the Anvay Naik suicide case, the former minister responded, "I don't know who is he (Vaze)."
Deshmukh even denied the allegation that Vaibhav Tumhane, a former assistant to him, ever coordinated between him and Vaze. He further said that at the time when the Mumbai Police was dealing with the fake followers case, TRP scam etc. Tumhane was only working with him and not doing any sort of coordination with Vaze.
The senior politician further said whatever he has said on the affidavit filed before the commission is true and correct.