The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday issued summons to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with the corruption allegations against him, reported PTI. The CBI has asked Deshmukh to appear before the agency for questioning on Wednesday.
Deshmukh had resigned from the state Cabinet on April 5 after the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. On April 8, the Supreme Court had dismissed the Maharashtra government and Deshmukh’s petitions to cancel the CBI inquiry against him. The top court had said that the allegations against Deshmukh were a matter of public confidence.
After the Bombay High Court’s order, the CBI had registered a “preliminary inquiry” into the corruption case. On Sunday, two of Deshmukh’s aides – Sanjeev Palande and Kundan – had recorded their statements before the agency.
On March 20, Singh had accused Deshmukh of extorting money from bars, restaurants and hookah parlours in Mumbai. In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, 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 had also accused the former state home minister of frequently interfering with police investigations in various cases.
On April 7, suspended Mumbai Police officer Vaze corroborated Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh. In a letter he intended to submit to the special National Investigation Agency court, Vaze alleged that Deshmukh and Transport Minister Anil Parab demanded more than Rs 100 crore from him. Vaze is facing proceedings in connection with the explosives found near the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, and the subsequent death of businessman Mansukh Hiren.