Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Sunday said that the charges against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh will be probed by a retired high court judge. “Maharashtra CM (Uddhav Thackeray) has decided that the allegations levelled against me by former Mumbai Police Commissioner (Param Bir Singh) will be probed by a retired high court judge,” Deshmukh was quoted as saying by ANI.
This comes days after NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had the full authority to decide on probing allegations against his party colleague Deshmukh. Pawar was under pressure to remove Deshmukh from the state home ministry following the serious charges of extortion by using police personnel. Pawar, however, questioned the facts presented in the letter and said that it was up to the chief minister to take a call.
Days after he was shunted out as Mumbai Police Commissioner following the arrest of Sachin Vaze in the Antilia case, Param Bir wrote an explosive letter to the chief minister saying Deshmukh was asking some police officers to help him collect money from 1750 restaurants and bars operating in Mumbai. In the letter, Param Bir wrote that Sachin Vaze was called by Anil Deshmukh to his official residence Dyaneshwar several times in the last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds for the state Home Minister.
In and around mid-February and thereafter, he said, the Home Minister had called Sachin Vaze to his official residence. “The Hon’ble Home Minister expressed to Shri Vaze that he had a target to accumulate Rs. 100 crores a month. For achieving the aforesaid target, the Hon’ble Home Minister told Shri 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 was achievable. The Hon’ble Home Minister added that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources,” he said.