Maharashtra government moves SC to cancel CBI probe against Deshmukh
Shortly after Nationalist Congress Party leader Dilip Walse Patil assumed office as the new Home Minister of Maharashtra, the state government moved the Supreme Court seeking to cancel the corruption probe against his predecessor, Anil Deshmukh. Deshmukh had resigned as Maharashtra Home Minister on Monday after the Bombay High Court ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the corruption allegations against him.
'HC couldn't order probe without allowing Deshmukh to explain'
The Maharashtra government and Deshmukh moved the Supreme Court arguing that the HC could not order such a probe without giving him the opportunity to explain. The plea also argued that the CBI was headed by an interim director and the case in that matter is pending in court. The Bombay HC had given the CBI a 15-day deadline to probe the corruption allegations.
Deshmukh resigned after HC order
Deshmukh resigned on Monday saying that it would not be "morally correct" for him to continue as Home Minister after the HC order. Before his resignation, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had held a meeting at his residence in Mumbai. It was widely expected that Deshmukh would be asked to resign at the meeting, even though the party had ruled out his resignation earlier.
What are the allegations against Deshmukh?
Deshmukh was accused of corruption by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh after the latter was transferred to a low-key post. Deshmukh allegedly ran an extortion racket wherein he asked police officers, including arrested assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, to collect Rs. 100 crore each month from bars and restaurants. Singh also alleged corruption in police transfers/postings, and political interference in probes.
Patil took over as Home Minister earlier today
Earlier on Tuesday, Patil took over as the Maharashtra Home Minister. After taking charge, he announced that the state government will be moving the Supreme Court seeking to cancel the CBI probe against Deshmukh. He had also assured that there will be no political interference in police administration adding, "Our priority will be women's safety, enactment of Shakti Act, and houses to policemen."