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Sunday, December 5, 2021
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Anil Deshmukh FIR: Probe panel that reinstated Sachin Waze, HC tells CBI

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Referring to the Supreme Court’s observations that former state home minister Anil Deshmuk hand for mer Mumbai police commisioner Param Bir Singh were working in close confidence, the Bombay high court on Wednesday asked the CBI if its probe was “broad based” and looking into the reinstatement of Sachin Waze as assistant police inspector last year. The committee that reinstated Waze was headed by Singh.

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A bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar said, “Whoever is head of administration at the relevant time cannot claim helplessness or innocence. It was equally the duty of such an officer to prevent it at the relevant time.”

The HC was hearing a quashing petition filed by Deshmukh against the first information report (FIR) registered against him and “unknown persons” by the CBI on April 21 under the Prevention of Corruption Act for undue advantage.

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The HC, hearing a quashing petition by former state home minister Anil Deshmukh against the FIR filed against him and “unknown persons” by the CBI under the Prevention of Corruption Act for undue advantage, in the verbal exchange with additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi for CBI, said, “What we expect from the CBI that the probe be broad based and that everyone responsible will be booked.” Lekhi replied, “The investigation will be broad based and cover everyone. But for that, it has to proceed.”

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The HC said it has passed no interim order for stay of probe so far. Lekhi said the probe was not being withheld in any manner, but it was a “multi-layer complex investigation”. He said CBI is “tracing the trend” and that “no exception will be made for any person…it is not as if the agency will play favourites”. But, Lekhi said, the HC’s April 5 order for a preliminary investigation empowers the CBI to investigate allegations against Deshmukh. He added that as a public person is involved, “the agency is moving with discretion…” “If the petitioner is anticipating a chargesheet, then there is some feeling of guilt…Otherwise he should be open to let the probe continue,” he added.

Lekhi said an FIR is not expected to give all details, and the annexures also have to be factored in—Singh’s letter to the CM against Deshmukh over his alleged “corrupt malpractices” and advocate Jaishri Patil’s complaint to Malabar Hill police citing the letter. It had alleged that De-shmukh had told Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every mo-nth from restaurants and bars.

Amit Desai, senior counsel for Deshmukh, said, “The FIR doesn’t have a single averment of fact to suggest that Deshmu-kh committed any offence or that he received any money.” He added that even on June 11, in its affidavit in HC, the CBI never said he received any money, it only alleged an “attempt” and made claims of transfers and postings with undue influence without any particulars of alleged extortion. He argued that Singh’s lett-er was “motivated because of his transfer” and contained “false claims”, and Deshmukh had resigned on “moral grounds”.

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SourceTOI
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