Political developments continued to emerge from Maharashtra on Monday as allegations flew thick and fast in the Sachin Waze case. IPS officer Param Bir Singh moved the Supreme Court seeking direction for an immediate “unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair” CBI probe into alleged corrupt malpractices of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. The matter shook the Parliament, causing an uproar over the corruption allegations in the Question Hour. Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar continued to defend Deshmukh, and dismissed demands for his resignation.
In his eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh on Saturday claimed Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from bars and hotels. Singh had also alleged in the letter that Deshmukh had called Mumbai police API Sachin Waze around mid-February at the ministers official residence and told him to collect Rs 100 crore a month.
- In his plea to the top court, Param Bir Singh sought quashing of the order transferring him from the post of Mumbai CP alleging it to be arbitrary and illegal.
- Seeking an interim relief, Singh sought stay of the operation of his transfer order and direction to the state government, the Centre and the CBI to immediately take in its custody the CCTV footage from the residence of Deshmukh.
- Meanwhile, NCP President Sharad Pawar defended Anil Deshmukh. hE said Singh’s corruption allegations against Deshmukh pertain to a period when he was hospitalised and hence the question of his resignation does not arise. “We got information that Deshmukh was hospitalised at that time in Nagpur. The allegation (by Singh) pertains to exactly the same period when he was in hospital. There is a hospital certificate,” Pawar said.
- “Deshmukh was admitted to a Nagpur hospital between February 5 and February 15 after testing positive for COVID-19 and was being analysed from February 15 to 27,” Pawar said and read out a certificate from the hospital in this regard. All (state) government records also say that for the entire three weeks, he (Deshmukh) was not in Bombay (Mumbai). He was in Nagpur, which is his home town. Thats why in such a situation, the question (of seeking resignation) does not arise, Pawar said.
- Countering Pawar, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis claimed that Deshmukh held a “press conference” on February 15 which contradicted Pawar’s assertion that he was hospitalized then. Deshmukh, however, said it was only a brief interaction with the media when he was stepping out of hospital.
- Singh has alleged that Deshmukh had called police officer Sachin Waze around mid-February at his official residence and asked him to help with collecting funds from bars and restaurants.
- Waze is currently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which is probing the recovery of the vehicle containing gelatin sticks and a threat letter which was found parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia in Mumbai last month.
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