Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
ANI Photo

Leader of Opposition (LoP) Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday slammed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government after it set up a high-level one-man panel to probe the corruption allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

Fadnavis said the panel, comprising retired Bombay High Court judge Justice Kailash U. Chandiwal, is "merely an eyewash and does not solve any purpose looking at the gravity & severity of the allegations!"

In a series of tweets, Fadnavis said, "Constitution of Hon Justice K. U. Chandiwal Committee for probing the allegations against HM Anil Deshmukh, is just of committee nature and not as a judicial commission."

He added that the committee, which is told to submit its report within six months, has no power. "Neither it is constituted nor has been given the powers under The Commissions of Inquiry Act 1952 as was done in case of Hon Justice Zoting Committee during our tenure," he said.

"Now the question remains how will a retired judge without power enquire against a sitting Home Minister?" he further questioned.

For the uninitiated, Param Bir Singh has alleged that Deshmukh had told Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the Mukesh Ambani threat case, that he had a target of collecting Rs 100 crore a month from bars, restaurants, and other establishments.

Meanwhile, the committee will probe whether such a demand was made by Deshmukh or his office staff and whether Singh had submitted evidence against the Home Minister and his staff along with his letter.

Further, the panel will also probe whether there is a need for an investigation by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) or any other agency to look into an offence, if any, committed by the Home Minister or his staff as per Singh’s allegations made in his letter after his transfer.

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