Controversy over purported clean chit to Anil Deshmukh

Controversy over purported 'clean chit' to Anil Deshmukh

The Maharashtra Congress has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the report

Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh leaves the DRDO office after he was interrogated for hours by officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation, in Mumbai, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Credit: PTI File Photo

Hours after a purported report of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) giving clean chit to Anil Deshmukh went viral, the federal investigation agency clarified that investigations were in progress against Maharashtra’s former home minister and senior NCP leader.

Hours after the report went viral the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government lashed out at the BJP for misusing central agencies. 

The CBI, however, issued a statement clarifying that no clean chit has been given to Deshmukh and investigations were in progress. 

The case pertains to allegations made by former Mumbai Police commissioner and now commandant general of Home Guard Param Bir Singh who had said that Deshmukh had fixed Rs 100 crore “collection target” for assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze. 

Incidentally, Vaze, who is now dismissed, is the main accused behind the planting of a gelatin sticks-laden Scorpio near the residence of Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani and the murder of the SUV owner Mansukh Hiren.

Also read: Corruption allegations against Anil Deshmukh 'vindictive act' of Param Bir Singh, builder claims

The purported CBI report that went viral states - “...Preliminary enquiry revealed that a cognizable offence is made out in the matter, wherein the then home minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh and unknown others have attempted to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance for public duty...”

"A number of media queries have been received regarding a CBI case registered against the then Maharashtra Home Minister and unknown others. It may be recalled that the Bombay High Court had ordered the registration of a Preliminary Enquiry in the said matter based on several PILs filed before the court,” the CBI said.

On completion of this preliminary enquiry, the competent authority directed registration of a regular case based on evidence collected during enquiry and the legal opinion. 

"The FIR registered by CBI on 21.04.2021 has been available on CBI website since 24.04.2021. Investigation into the matter is ongoing,” it said. 

The statement also pointed out that the same officer whose report is circulating in the media is a complainant in the FIR, a copy of which is available on the CBI website.

NCP chief spokesperson and minority affairs minister Nawab Malik said that the CBI must come out clean on the issue. “It shows political vendetta and blatant misuse of centre probe agencies,” he said.

The Maharashtra Congress has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the report. 

“Conspiracy of Modi govt to target Anil Deshmukh and defame MVA has been exposed. The Investigation officer of CBI in PE had concluded that there is no role of this in so-called Rs 100 crore collection allegation by Singh and had closed the inquiry.

"We demand SC monitored inquiry into this conspiracy to find out at whose behest the CBI changed its stand by overriding the IO report? HC had only asked for PE but filing FIR by misguiding HC is a huge crime of CBI,” state Congress general secretary and spokesperson Sachin Sawant said. 

He also demanded that union home minister Amit Shah must take responsibility and resign. 

"The Centre is misusing its agencies for political purposes," Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant said.

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