UPDATED: April 5, 2021 15:31 IST
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh resigned on Monday hours after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI inquiry into corruption allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
NCP leader Nawab Malik said Anil Deshmukh met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and tendered his resignation. “After the High Court order, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh met Sharad Pawar and party leaders and said he doesn’t want to remain in the post. Party has requested to the CM to accept his resignation. Though there is nothing factually right in the allegations,” said Nawab Malik.
Last month, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said Anil Deshmukh need not resign in the wake of corruption allegations. Pawar said he had evidence to prove that Deshmukh was in hospital for Covid-19 treatment at the time he was said to be discussing a Rs 100-crore extortion racket with police officers in February, as alleged by Param Bir Singh.
Bombay HC orders CBI probe into graft charges against Anil Deshmukh
The development comes on a day the Bombay HC directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry within 15 days into the corruption allegations against Anil Deshmukh.
Param Bir Singh had alleged that Anil Deshmukh had asked suspended police officer Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the NIA in the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case, to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Singh made the allegations in an eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last month. Deshmukh had denied these allegations.
The Bombay High Court said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry. “We agree that this is an unprecedented case before the court…Deshmukh is Home Minister who leads the police… There has to be an independent inquiry… But, the CBI need not register an FIR immediately,” the court said.
Maharashtra govt also ordered probe
With political pressure rising, the Maharashtra government also formed a single-member committee to investigate the allegations levelled by Param Bir Singh against Anil Deshmukh. Retired High Court judge Justice Kailash Chandiwal will submit his report within six months. The BJP, lead by former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had been demanding Deshmukh’s removal from the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.