Bombay High Court to hear Param Bir Singh’s PIL against Deshmukh on Mar 31

Bombay High Court to hear Param Bir Singh’s PIL against Deshmukh on Mar 31

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said it would hear on Wednesday the PIL filed by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh seeking a CBI probe against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who he claimed asked police officer Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crore from bars and restaurants.

Singh filed the criminal Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the HC on March 25.

He claimed Deshmukh had asked police officers, including suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the NIA in the case of bomb scare near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai, to collect ₹100 crore each month from bars and restaurants.

The PIL also raised the issue of alleged corruption in police transfers and postings in the state.

On Tuesday, senior counsel Vikram Nankani, appearing for Singh, mentioned the petition before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni and sought urgent hearing.

Chief Justice Datta asked Nankani about the prayers sought in the petition and if the PIL is maintainable.

Nankani said the main prayer sought in the petition is for a CBI probe into the serious allegations levelled by a senior IPS officer against a state minister.

“We will satisfy the court with arguments on the maintainability of the petition,” Nankani said.

The HC then posted the PIL for hearing on Wednesday.

Singh had initially approached the Supreme Court, alleging he was transferred from the post of Commissioner Police of Mumbai on March 17 and shunted to the Home Guards department after he complained to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other senior leaders about the “corrupt malpractices” of Deshmukh.

The apex court had termed the matter as quite serious, but asked Singh to approach the high court.

Singh then filed the PIL in the HC, reiterating his allegations against Deshmukh and seeking an “immediate, unbiased, impartial” probe by the CBI against Deshmukh, who is an NCP leader.

In his PIL, Singh also accused Deshmukh of routinely interfering in police investigations and putting pressure on him to implicate BJP leaders in the case of suicide of Dadra and Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar.

Singh also sought a direction from the HC to the CBI to secure CCTV footage of Deshmukh’s residence from earlier this year before it was “destroyed”, and a direction to the state government to produce all records of communication received from IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in March 2020.

In February last year, Shukla levelled allegations of malpractices in police postings and transfers against Deshmukh and also informed her superiors about it, but soon afterwards she was transferred, the PIL alleged.

The court should pass directions to ensure that in future police officials are not transferred on account of “pecuniary benefits to any politician”, it said.

Deshmukh has denied the allegations against him.

News Source: Hindustan Times

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