The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced a high-level one-man panel to probe the allegations levelled by former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh against state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
The panel comprising retired Bombay High Court judge, Justice Kailash U. Chandiwal, will submit its report within six months, said an official notification.
The terms of reference comprise investigating if Singh had submitted any evidence in his March 20 ‘letter-bomb’ allegations against Deshmukh to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
It will also enquire whether the evidence, if any, prove any misconduct/crime by the Home Minister or any of his staff.
It may be recalled that in his letter, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had reportedly asked a junior officer, Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze, to ‘collect’ Rs 100 crore per month from hoteliers, bars, hookah parlours and other sources in Mumbai.
The letter came soon after Vaze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the twin cases pertaining to the abandoned SUV Scorpio outside Antilia, the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, on February 25, followed by the mysterious death of the car’s owner, Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, on February 5.
Rejecting outright Singh’s charges, Deshmukh had said: “The former Commissioner of Police, Param Bir Singh, has levelled false allegations in order to save himself as the involvement of Sachin Vaze in the Mukesh Ambani and Mansukh Hiren’s case is becoming clearer from the investigation carried out so far and the threads are leading to Singh as well”.
Singh penned the letter shortly after his transfer as Commandant-General, Home Guards.
He hit back by moving the Supreme Court demanding a CBI probe into his allegations against Deshmukh, but he was asked to approach the Bombay High Court.
The Justice K.U. Chandiwal probe panel will also go into whether there was any substance in the information provided by Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjay Patil and the then API Vaze to Singh, based on which the latter levelled allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.
The panel will also suggest whether there is a need to order a probe by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) or any other agency, said a government notification announcing the high-level investigation.