Anil Deshmukh Refutes ‘Rs 100 Cr’ Corruption Claims by Ex Top Cop
Singh has accused HM Deshmukh of directing suspended API Vaze for collecting Rs 100 crore from restaurants and bars.
In a new twist in the Ambani-SUV case, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, on Saturday, 20 March, in an unsigned letter, accused Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption.
Amid reports of the Chief Minister’s office “verifying” the authenticity of the unsigned letter, Singh, as per ANI, has claimed that the letter was, indeed, sent from his email ID.
Deshmukh, on his part, refuted Singh’s allegation soon after. Further, he said that Singh made false allegations in a bid to protect himself from further legal action, in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar is slated to hold a meeting in Delhi on Sunday, 21 March, with senior NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil.
Patil, on his part, however, has rubbished all speculations of Anil Deshmukh resigning, and said that there is no question of replacing the state Home Minister. He has also alleged that Param Bir Singh’s letter was a reaction to the Chief Minister and the Home Minister taking a tough stand against him
Key Highlights of Param Bir Singh’s Letter
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Singh claimed that Deshmukh had directed suspended API Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
Singh went on to prominently make the following claims:
- Param Bir Singh had already briefed the CM, Deputy CM, the President of the Nationalist Congress Party and other senior ministers’ several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged by the Hon’ble Home Minister.
- Sachin Vaze, who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, was called by Anil Deshmukh to his official residence, Dyaneshwar, several times in the last few months and was repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds.
- Deshmukh told Vaze that, “he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crore a month”.
- In a bid to achieve the said target, Deshmukh told Vaze that there are approximately 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai and if a sum of Rs 2-3 lakh each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs 40-50 crore was achievable.
- Deshmukh told Vaze that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources.
- Vaze told Singh about the instructions on the same day, in reaction to which Singh was “shocked” and started “mulling over how to deal with the situation”.
- Deshmukh subsequently also informed Sanjay Patil, ACP, Social Service Branch, through his personal secretary, that he “was targeting a collection of Rs 40-50 crore, which was possible through approximately 1,750 bars, restaurants and establishments operating in Mumbai”, and Patil conveyed the same to Singh.
- Home Minister Deshmukh had repeatedly been calling police officers at his official residence “bypassing me and other superior officers of the police department to whom those respective police officers report to” and had “been instructing them to carry out official assignments and collection schemes, including financial transactions as per his instructions, based on his expectations and targets to collect money.”
- Deshmukh had “from day one” insisted on registering an abetment to suicide case in Mumbai, with regard to the demise of MP Mohan Delkar, even though there was “general agreement that the alleged acts of abetment could only be investigated by the Police at Dadra and Nagar Haveli.”
- Deshmukh was unhappy with Singh as “the political mileage desired to be derived from the registration of the abetment of suicide case in Mumbai in the death of Shri Mohan Delkar, Member of Parliament against senior officials of Dadra & Nagar Haveli was not being achieved.”
- Deshmukh had on numerous occasions called several officers from the Mumbai Police to his official residence at Dyaneshwar for giving instructions to adopt a specific course of action in police investigations.
Param Bir Singh, further alleged that he has been made a “scapegoat” in a bid to divert attention from the “actual wrongdoers”.
Here is the full text of the letter:
What Did Anil Deshmukh Say?
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, on his part, said that the allegations made by Param Bir Singh are false. He further alleged that it is a conspiracy hatched by Singh to discredit Deshmukh and the Mahavikas Aghadi government in self-defense.
“I would like to draw your attention to the following important points. You will notice how Param Bir Singh is lying.”Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
Thereby, Deshmukh, went on to ask: “Why was Param Bir Singh sitting quietly for so many days after Sachin Vaze was arrested?”.
Deshmukh also made the following claims:
- After realising that he will be removed from the post of Commissioner of Police on the next day, Param Bir Singh on 16 March, called on ACP Sanjay Patil and asked some questions from WhatsApp chat, and got the answers he expected.
- It was part of a larger plot by Param Bir Singh. Through this chat Param Bir Singh wanted to collect evidence systematically. Param Bir Singh’s chat and repeated question betray impatience.
- Param Bir Singh attempted to create evidence in form of a conversation on WhatsApp again on 19 March, in order to save himself after Deshmukh said that he had been removed from office due to some serious allegations that had been levied against him.
- Everyone in the police department knows that Sachin Vaze and ACP Sanjay Patil are very close to Param Bir Singh. He took the decision to reinstate Vaze, who had been suspended for 16 years, in his own right.
- Param Bir Singh's allegations are completely false. He should prove his allegations. Deshmukh will be filing a defamation suit against them.
- If Param Bir Singh says that Sachin Vaze met Param Bir Singh in February and told him all this, then why didn't he share the same information immediately. Why was he quiet for so many days?
- After realising that the state government could get into trouble in the explosives case, Param Bir Singh has tried to blackmail them via false allegations.
- This is a conspiracy hatched by Param Bir Singh to derail the investigation in the explosives case and the suspicious death of Mansukh Hiren.
Further, Deshmukh said, “The Chief Minister should conduct an impartial inquiry in the case.”
‘Param Bir Singh’s Allegations More Explosive Than Gelatin Sticks’: Fadnavis
Following the letter, leader of the Opposition and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has demanded the sacking of Deshmukh from his post.
Addressing a press briefing on Saturday evening, Fadnavis said:
“Allegations made by Param Bir Singh are, in my opinion, more explosive than the gelatine sticks found in the car near Ambani’s residence.”
Further, as per Fadnavis what makes these allegations more serious is the fact that these have been levied by a serving Director General (DG).
“He has also added transcript of chats to establish his claims,” said Fadnavis.
“The Home Minister should resign, if he does not do so the Chief Minister should remove him from his post, and a fair probe should be carried out in this case. The probe should either be conducted by a central agency, or it should be a court-monitored inquiry.”
A Central Agency Should Probe The Case: Raj Thackeray
MNS chief Raj Thackeray, meanwhile, has sought Anil Deshmukh’s immediate resignation. He also sought a central agency probe in the case.
Further, Raj Thackeray raised the following questions in connection with the case:
- Why was Param Bir Singh transferred is? If he was found guilty there must be a thorough probe.
- Who brought Sachin Vaze back to police force after his suspension for 16 years in Khwaja Younis case ?
Thackeray also asked how could police plant the bomb near Ambani’s house.
“Police are working on someone's order. It is a strange case. Need to get to the roots of it.”
Raj Thackeray, further, pointed out that Mukesh Ambani has highly advanced “Israel security cover” as well as Madhya Pradesh police security.
On 18 March, Deshmukh claimed that Singh was shifted due to “serious and unforgivable mistakes” of his colleagues.
Singh, who was facing criticism for his handling of the bomb scare incident outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai, was transferred to the low-key Home Guard by the state government on Wednesday. Acting Director General of Police Hemant Nagrale replaced Singh.
In a public comment, Deshmukh said Singh’s transfer was for the purpose of ensuring that the probe regarding former Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze is conducted “properly and without hindrance.”
The NIA arrested Vaze on 13 March on suspicion of his involvement in the recovery of a Scorpio, which carried explosives and a threat note addressed to Mukesh and Nita Ambani. He was later suspended.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.