Eyewash, says BJP on probe panel against Anil Deshmukh

Justice Kailash Chandiwalwas appointed as the one-person panel and gave it six months’ time to submit its report
Last Updated 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST

A day after the Maharashtra government announced a high-level inquiry committee to look into former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh’s allegations against state home minister Anil Deshmukh, the BJP described it as eyewash.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government appointed Justice Kailash Chandiwal, a retired judge of the Bombay High Court, as the one-person panel and gave it six months’ time to submit its report.

The state government has not formed a judicial commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952, but it set up a “high-level inquiry committee” by an order issued by the General Administration Department, which has its own limitations.

Meanwhile, the leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis said it is just a committee and not a judicial commission.

“Neither it is constituted nor has been given the powers under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, as was done in case of Justice Zoning Committee during our tenure,” the former chief minister said referring to the committee to probe into allegations against Eknath Khadse, who resigned as revenue minister. Khadse has not left BJP and joined NCP.

“We are of the view that appointing such a committee is merely an eyewash and does not solve any purpose, looking at the gravity and severity of the allegations! Now the question remains how will a retired judge without power enquire against a sitting home minister,” said Fadnavis.

Singh has alleged that Deshmukh has demanded Rs 100 crore per month of assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency in the twin cases involving planting of a Scorpio laden with 20-odd gelatin sticks and a threatening letter near Antlia, the Carmichael Road residence of India’s top businessman and Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai and murder of SUV owner Mansukh Hiran, a Thane-based automobile spare parts showroom owner.

Singh has been transferred as commandant general of Home Guards.

(Published 31 March 2021, 12:02 IST)

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