Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh – who resigned last week over corruption allegations – has been summoned by the CBI for questioning on Wednesday.
The central agency is holding a 15-day ‘preliminary inquiry’ – as ordered by the Bombay High Court – into charges by ex-Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh; the former police chief has accused Mr Deshmukh of directing senior city cops to lead a Rs 100 crore per month extortion racket.
The CBI has already questioned two personal staffers of Mr Deshmukh, including Sanjeev Palande, who Mr Singh said was present when the ex-Home Minister detailed his proposed extortion racket.
The agency has also spoken to controversial police officer Sachin Waze – who is in NIA custody in connection with the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare and murder of auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran.
According to Param Bir Singh, Mr Waze was one of the police officers directed by Anil Deshmukh to extort money – Rs 100 crore per month – from Mubai bars and restuarants.
Mr Singh has also alleged corruption on Mr Deshmukh’s part with reference to police transfers and postings.
Param Bir Singh’s statement was recorded by the NIA on Wednesday. The former top cop was questioned on the timeline of Waze’s postings and assigned cases.
Mr Singh – who last month was replaced as Mumbai Police Commissioner – over “unforgivable” lapses in the Mukesh Ambani security scare probe, according to the state government – had earlier written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with the same allegations.
Mr Deshmukh and his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have denied all accusations; they say the charges are an attempt by Param Bir Singh to divert attention from those against him.