Former Mumbai Police top cop moves Supreme Court; Seeks CBI probe against Maharashtra Home Minister

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New Delhi: Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh has invoked writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and sought unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the “corrupt malpractices” of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra, before the evidences are destroyed.

Fair CBI investigation is warranted in each acts of Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister, the petition underscores.

Singh has submitted that said Anil Deshmukh had been holding meetings in February, 2021 at his residence with police officers including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service Branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors and had instructed them that he had a target to accumulate Rs. 100 crores every month and had directed to collect money from various establishments and other sources. Prior to that, the petition says, it is reliably learnt that on or about 24/25 August 2020, one Rashmi Shukla, the Commissioner Intelligence, State Intelligence Department had brought to the notice of the Director General of Police, who in turn brought it to the knowledge of the Additional Chief Secretary Home Department, Government of Maharashtra about corrupt malpractices in postings / transfers by Anil Deshmukh based on telephonic interception. She was shunted out rather than taking any firm action against Anil Deshmukh. Further, Anil Deshmukh had been interfering in various investigations and was instructing the police officers to conduct the same in a particular manner as desired by him. Each such act of Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Hon’ble Home Minister, whether in calling and directly instructing the police officers of lower rank such as Vaze or Patil for his malicious intent of extorting money from establishments across Mumbai and from other sources, or whether in interfering in the investigations & directing the same to be conducted in a particular manner, or whether indulging in corrupt malpractices in posting / transfers of officers, cannot be countenanced or justified in any democratic State. Fair CBI investigation is thus warranted in each of such acts of Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister. The petitioner had brought the corrupt practices of Anil Deshmukh in the knowledge of the senior leaders and the Chief Minister of of Maharashtra. Thereafter, the petition adds on 17 March 2021 an Order vide Notification of the Home Department of the Respondent No. 1 bearing no. IPS2021/Vol.No.107/Pol-1 was issued, by virtue of which, the Petitioner herein was transferred from the post of the Police Commissioner of Mumbai to the Home Guard Department in an arbitrary and illegal manner without the completion of the minimum fixed tenure of two years. The said transfer was maliciously effected purportedly under Section 22N(2) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 with the reason that the transfer was necessitated by “administrative exigencies”. It is settled law that the Orders have to stand on the reasons contained in the same and no reasons can be supplemented later. The petitioner believes that the reason for the transfer noted by the Respondent no. 1 in its file is to ensure a free and fair investigation in the Antilia incident leading to FIR no. 35/2021 dated 25 February 2021 registered with Gamdevi Police Station as a result of a car with explosives being found at Altamount Road near Antilia, the residence of Mukesh Ambani, for Bomb Scare. The said case is thereafter being investigated by the ATS and now the NIA, and Sachin Vaze, officer of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai has been arrested for custodial interrogation by NIA.

The petitioner has stated “for the conduct of a free and fair investigation by the ATS and the NIA into the Antilia incident. It is not even case of NIA that the petitioner had in any manner obstructed in free and fair investigation by NIA. Anil Deshmukh, in his capacity as Home Minister of Maharashtra has stated in an interview conducted on 18 March 2021 under the aegis of ‘Lokmat’ that his transfer was not on administrative grounds. The transfer of the petitioner in the aforesaid circumstances is for reasons smeared with malice, when there is no iota of material or evidence – far from proof – found or even imputed against the petitioner, and is solely based on conjectures, surmises and pure speculation, without detail of any sort against the petitioner having been noticed by anybody. Such transfer followed by adverse media publicity by Anil Deshmukh, is in violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, in teeth of the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in T.S.R. Subramanian v. Union of India, reported in (2013) 15 SCC 732, and in clear non-compliance with the provisions of Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 as amended in 2014. Further, the transfer of the Petitioner is also contrary to the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in T.P. Senkumar v. Union of India, reported in (2017) 6 SCC 801.

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