Significantly, the FIR focuses on the controversial reinstatement of API Sachin Waze, now held in the explosives case, saying the twin decisions to rehabilitate the “encounter” specialist and to task him with important cases were “in the knowledge” of Deshmukh, something which immediately sparked speculation that those directly involved in making the calls could also be in the agency’s crosshairs.
The FIR was filed on Wednesday under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and names Deshmukh as an accused. He is likely to be extensively grilled in the coming days, a source said. On Saturday, CBI teams conducted massive searches across 4 locations in Maharashtra, including a 14-hour search of his Nagpur home-cum-office.
‘Offered full cooperation’ to CBI team, says Deshmukh
The CBI searched three of former home minister Anil Deshmukh’s premises, including his office, on Saturday, a source said. The searches were conducted simultaneously at four locations from 7.30am. The agency is learnt to have seized electronic gadgets and some documents.
The CBI said all officers who were part of the searches wore PPE kits while following all Covid protocols.
Sources say the CBI collected some prima facie technical evidence on the basis of which the allegations reportedly seem to be prima facie corroborating. “The facts which emerged during the PE (preliminary enquiry) need a thorough probe for which an FIR is required,” said an official.
The CBI’s FIR comes after the agency conducted an exhaustive preliminary enquiry for two weeks on the orders of the Bombay high court. On April 14, the CBI had grilled Deshmukh for eight hours after quizzing multiple people.
The FIR, a copy of which is with TOI, states the PE had prima facie revealed that a cognizable offence was made out in the matter, wherein Deshmukh and others have attempted to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty.
It says the PE has revealed API Sachin Waze was reinstated in service after 15 years and entrusted with most sensational and important cases of Mumbai police with Deshmukh being in knowledge of this fact.
The FIR mentions a part of Param Bir Singh’s 104-pagelong complaint alleging Deshmukh and others exercised undue influence over transfer postings of police personnel “thereby exercising undue influence over their performance”.
Meanwhile, in Nagpur, the CBI team entered Deshmukh’s residence around 8am and left at 6.30pm, following which even he departed for his constituency, Katol, to visit a newly opened Covid care centre. However, all of a sudden, the CBI team returned around 7pm. Deshmukh too was then called back and he arrived after 30 minutes.
Finally, Deshmukh left for Katol after the CBI team departed at 10pm. “The CBI conducted a search at my place. I offered full cooperation to them,” he said before leaving for Katol.