The Maharashtra government and Anil Deshmukh, who stepped down from the post of the state's home minister today, have decided to approach the Supreme Court to seek cancellation of the CBI probe against him in a corruption case. The Bombay High Court has ordered a preliminary CBI investigation against him regarding the allegations made by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh. It had given the Central agency 15 days for a preliminary report.
Within hours, Mr Deshmukh had resigned, citing moral grounds.
Mr Singh -- who was replaced as the Mumbai police chief last month -- approached the Bombay High Court after a Supreme Court order. In his petition he alleged that he was removed from his post because of his complaints against Mr Deshmukh to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
In his petition, Mr Singh had said that his claims were "hard facts coming from the person who occupied the highest post in the police force in the city and from someone who has served for more than 30 years."
The petition also accused Mr Deshmukh of corruption in police transfers and postings, based on allegations by an IPS officer, Rashmi Shukla.
Mr Deshmukh and his party, Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, have denied the allegations against him.
Mr Pawar had alleged that the police chief -- who was in charge of investigating the case involving an explosives-laden vehicle near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's home -- was trying to divert attention from it. Mr Pawar had also questioned the timing of his allegations, pointing out that he spoke up only after he was removed from the top post.
In a letter to Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh has accused Mr Deshmukh of "malpractices". The minister, he wrote, had appointed several of his officers -- including Sachin Waze who has been arrested in the Mukesh Ambani case -- to run an extortion racket, giving them a target of Rs 100 crore a month.
Following this, a delegation of BJP leaders led by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had met the Governor, asking him to seek a report from Mr Thackeray on the issue.