Mumbai: In a major development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and others in connection with allegations made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The agency is conducting searches at various places.
"After the Preliminary Enquiry against Deshmukh got complete, a report was submitted to the CBI Director. We have now registered an FIR in the said matter and are conducting searches. The decision to register an FIR was done following the evidences and documents provided by those who were questioned during the enquiry," said a CBI official.
Singh, in his letter written last month to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had claimed and alleged that "Sachin Vaze who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police was called by Deshmukh, to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in the collection of funds for the Home Minister.” In and around mid-February and thereafter, the Home Minister had called Vaze to his official residence. At that time, one or two staff members of the Home Minister including his Personal Secretary, Mr Palande, were also present. The Home Minister expressed to Vaze that he had a target to accumulate Rs. 100 crores a month, Param Bir Singh had further alleged.
“For achieving the aforesaid target, the Home Minister told Vaze that there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of Rs. 2-3 lakhs each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs. 40-50 crores were achievable. The Home Minister added that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources," Param Bir Singh had further claimed.
Later Param Bir Singh had moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe, but the court had asked him to move the Bombay High Court. While the Bombay High Court dismissed Param Bir Singh’s petition, it took into consideration a PIL file advocate Jayshri Patil which also sought a CBI probe against Deshmukh. The Bombay High Court on April 5 ordered the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the allegations levelled against Deshmukh and to submit a report within 15 days.
CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry the next day and had started its enquiry. But Deshmukh had denied all the allegations made by Singh and moved the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court’s order. The state of Maharashtra too had moved the Supreme Court, but Supreme Court did not give any relief to either Deshmukh or the state.
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Following this, a team of CBI officials have till now recorded the statements of Param Bir Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Raju Bhujbal, ACP Sanjay Patil and Vaze in connection with the allegations.
The probe team had also recorded the statement of advocate Jayshri Patil, who had also approached the court seeking probe into Singh’s allegations.
The agency had also recorded statements of a Kandivali bar owner and two drivers of Vaze.