Former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh has approached the Supreme Court, seeking an "impartial and fair investigation" by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the "various corrupt malpractices" of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. He has also challenged his transfer to Home Guards, ordered by the Maharashtra government last week over lapses into the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case.
Mr Singh was the one to level corruption allegations against the home minister last week in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
In his letter, he said Mr Deshmukh had started an extortion racket with several officers, including Sachin Waze, who has been arrested in the Mukesh Ambani explosives case. The officers were set a target of Rs 100 crore a month and told to collect the money from pubs and restaurants, he wrote.
He also accused the minister of interfering in investigations, ordering officers to act on basis of his political agenda ignoring the chain of command.
Mr Singh's appeal to the Supreme Court came as Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar questioned his motives.
The officer, Mr Pawar has said, made his allegations after being moved out of the Mumbai top post and into the Home Guards following lapses in the Mukesh Ambani security scare probe.
Today, Mr Pawar said the officer was just trying to divert attention from the investigation into the Mukesh Ambani security scare case. The home minister, he said, was ailing at the time mentioned by Mr Singh in his letter and was confined first to a hospital and then to his home in Nagpur from February 5 to 27.
In his letter, Mr Singh had said the minister had met police officer Sachin Waze to discuss the extorting racket in mid-February. Another meeting with several others took place at his Mumbai residence on March 4.
Mr Singh today asked the court order that CCTV footage from the residence of the Mr Deshmukh be immediately taken into custody.
In his petition, Mr Singh also asked the court to cancel his transfer order, calling the Maharashtra government's move "illegal and arbitrary, in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India".
He also asked the court to issue directions to safeguard him from any coercive steps.