Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday moved the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the first information report filed against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation on corruption charges, reported Bar and Bench.
Deshmukh has sought interim protection from coercive action by the central agency during the pendency of the plea. It was filed through advocate Sonali Jadhav.
The High Court is likely to take up the application for an urgent hearing this week.
The CBI had filed the FIR against Deshmukh on April 24 and searched his home. It charged Deshmukh under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act that deals with illegal gratification obtained by a public servant and for criminal conspiracy under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.
The central agency had summoned the former home minister for questioning on April 12 after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh accused him of directing his subordinates to exhort money from bars, restaurants and hotels in Mumbai.
Though Deshmukh has constantly denied any impropriety, he resigned from the state Cabinet on April 5 after the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations against him.
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.
Allegations against Deshmukh
In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh had written 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. The former Mumbai police chief wrote the letter to Thackeray after he was transferred from his position to the low-key Home Guard department by the state government.
On April 7, 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.