Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh resigned on Monday after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of extortion against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Deshmukh submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP Minister Nawab Malik told reporters. Deshmukh also tweeted a copy of the letter, in which he said the High Court had passed an order for a preliminary probe by the CBI into the petition filed by advocate Jayshri Patil into the allegations.
“I don’t have the moral right to continue in office after the court order. I have decided to quit. Kindly relieve me from my post,” Deshmukh’s resignation letter said.After the court order, Deshmukh met NCP President Sharad Pawar and expressed his desire to step down as he felt it was inappropriate to continue in office after the CBI steps in, Malik said. “Deshmukh went to hand over the letter to Thackeray after Pawar gave his “green signal” to quit,” Malik said. Singh’s allegations are baseless but the party respects the court and hence the Minister will quit, Malik said, adding the truth will come out. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday night accepted the resignation of Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and handed over the charge of the key department to Cabinet Minister Dilip Walse Patil of the NCP, the Raj Bhavan said.
The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into the allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni earlier in the day said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry. In its 52-page judgement, the bench said Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh had put at stake the citizen’s faith in the State police. Such allegations, made by a serving police officer, against the State Home Minister could not be left unattended, and were required to be probed into, if prima facie, they made a case of a cognisable offence, the HC said. The court said a probe by an independent agency was necessary in the present case, to “instill public confidence and safeguard the Fundamental Rights of the citizens”.
The HC pronounced its verdict on three public interest litigations (PILs) and a criminal writ petition filed last month, seeking several reliefs and a CBI probe into the matter. One of the PILs was filed by Singh himself, and the other two were filed by lawyer Ghanshyam Upadhyay and local teacher Mohan Bhide. The criminal writ petition was filed by city-based lawyer Jayshree Patil. The HC ordered for the CBI inquiry on Patil’s plea. After the HC verdict, Deshmukh resigned from the post of State Home Minister.
CBI team to reach Mumbai today
Apr 5 (PTI)
A CBI team will reach Mumbai on Tuesday to start the process of initiating a preliminary enquiry against ex-Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. Normally, the agency waits for a formal order and a legal opinion before initiating any action in such cases but given the short period of 15 days granted by the High Court to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the allegations, the CBI has taken the swift action, officials said. The CBI team will meet lawyers to collect the order, complaint along with annexure and other related documents to start the probe, they said.