The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday, 6 April, said that it has registered a preliminary inquiry into allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
RC Joshi, CBI spokesperson said, “CBI has registered a PE in the respect of the Bombay High Court order dated 5 April 2021,” PTI reported.
The announcement came late on Tuesday night, hours after the Maharashtra government had moved the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order, permitting the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the charges.
The CBI’s swift action in registering the inquiry will render the Maharashtra government’s Supreme Court move infructuous.
The Bombay High Court had on Monday, 5 April, directed a probe into the allegations by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against Deshmukh. The court had ordered for the investigation to be completed within 15 days, following which the CBI would decide on the course of action.
The same day, Deshmukh resigned from his post. In his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deshmukh wrote, “The Bombay High Court on 5 April, on the basis of the plea by advocate Jayshree Patil, ordered a preliminary investigation by the CBI against me. In the backdrop of the order, it doesn’t morally suit me to continue as the home minister. Hence, I have decided to step down from the post. I request you to relieve me from the same.”
Singh accused Deshmukh of corruption and meddling in the police force’s functioning and transfers.
After his resignation, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari handed over the charge of the key department to a cabinet minister and NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil.
On March 25, Singh had filed criminal public interest litigation, seeking a CBI probe against Deshmukh who, he claimed, had asked police officers, including suspended cop Sachin Waze, to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants. Waze has been arrested by the NIA in connection with the probe into the explosive-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai. The petition also alleged corruption on his part in police transfers and postings. Deshmukh, however, rubbished the allegations.