As NCP Chief Sharad Pawar has put the ball in the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s court, the state government may set up a committee headed by a retired judge to hold an inquiry into the corruption charges made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against home minister Anil Deshmukh. The decision will be taken after the coordination committee meeting of the ruling partners Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress.
An MVA minister told the Free Press Journal, "The coordination committee will decide whether the proposed probe will be ordered under the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 or just by an executive order by the establishment of a probe panel. Under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, the Commission can summon and enforce the attendance of any person, and examine him on oath. The Commission will receive evidence on affidavit.’’ However, he said the formation of a probe panel not under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1951 will not enjoy these powers as it can inquire based on the information in the public domain.
"The state government has taken note of the serious allegations made by Param Bir Singh in his explosive letter. The state government will now form an inquiry committee headed by a retired judge to look into the matter,’’ said another minister. The government’s move coincided with Singh’s demand in his petition in the Supreme Court demanding a CBI probe into corruption charges against Deshmukh.
Deshmukh will have to argue his case before the proposed probe panel by countering the corruption charges. He has already denied Singh’s allegations saying that they were made after he was shunted as the Mumbai Police Commissioner.
Deshmukh said Singh had made those charges to blackmail the state government. He further added that this was a conspiracy hatched by Param Bir Singh to derail the investigation into the explosives case and the suspicious death of Mansukh Hiran.