Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh moved the Supreme Court on Monday to demand a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the corruption allegations that he levelled against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, ANI reported.

In his petition, Singh sought protection from coercive action against him by the Maharashtra government. He also challenged the state government’s March 17 order transferring him to the Home Guard.

Singh sought a CBI probe into the “various corrupt malpractices” of Deshmukh, the petition said, according to Bar and Bench. He added that the investigation should be unbiased, impartial and fair.

The former police commissioner said he approached the Supreme Court directly under Article 32 as the Maharashtra government has withdrawn the general consent given to the CBI to conduct inquiries in the state.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi will represent Singh in the case.

The allegations

On March 20, Singh in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery accused Deshmukh of extorting money from bars, restaurants and hookah parlours in the city. The former police chief wrote that suspended Crime Branch officer Sachin Vaze told him that the minister had asked him to collect Rs 100 crore every month through illegal channels.

Singh also accused the home minister of frequently interfering with police investigation in various cases.

Waze was sent to the custody of the National Investigation Agency on March 15 for his alleged role in placing an explosives-laden vehicle outside the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani last month. Two days later, Singh, who was handling the investigation, was transferred from his position to the low-key Home Guard department by the state government.

The allegations have landed the Shiv Sena, Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party government into a huge controversy. Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have claimed there was a possibility that such incidents of alleged extortion were taking place in other Maharashtra cities like Pune, Nagpur and Jalgaon. The matter has also become a cause of friction within the ruling alliance, which is scheduled to meet on Monday evening to take a decision on Deshmukh.

Deshmukh rubbished the allegations levelled against him by Singh, alleging that the police officer was trying to cover up after mishandling the Ambani case. After initially calling the charges against Deshmukh “serious”, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Monday dismissed it. He claimed that Deshmukh was hospitalised after testing positive for the coronavirus during the period that Singh mentioned in his accusations.