Mumbai, 22 March 2021: After being removed from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh has approached the Supreme Court demanding an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Singh has prayed for stay on his transfer as Mumbai Police Commissioner as well as direction to immediately take in its custody the CCTV footage from the residence of Deshmukh.
The 1988-batch IPS officer was recently transferred to the Home Guard Department after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Mumbai Police API Sachin Vaze in connection with the investigation of an explosive-laden vehicle found near the residence of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani.
“The petition is filed to seek unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra before the evidence is destroyed”, the petition states.
It further reads, “Deshmukh had been holding meetings in February 2021 at his residence with police officers including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service Branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors and had instructed them that he had a target to accumulate Rs 100 crores every month and had directed to collect money from various establishments and other sources.
Prior thereto, it is reliably learnt that on or about 24th/25th August 2020, Rashmi Shukla, the Commissioner Intelligence, State Intelligence Department (SID) had brought to the notice of the Director-General of Police, who in turn brought it to the knowledge of the Addl Chief Secretary Home Department, Government of Maharashtra about corrupt malpractices in postings/transfers by Deshmukh based on the telephonic interception. She was shunted out rather than taking any firm action against Deshmukh.
Further, Deshmukh had been interfering in various investigations and was instructing the police officers to conduct the same in a particular manner as desired by him. Each such act of Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister, whether in calling and directly instructing the police officers of lower rank such as Vaze or Patil for his malicious intent of extorting money from establishments across Mumbai and from other sources, or whether in interfering in the investigations & directing the same to be conducted in a particular manner, or whether indulging in corrupt malpractices in posting/transfers of officers, cannot be countenanced or justified in any democratic State.
Fair CBI investigation is thus warranted in each of such acts of Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister. The petitioner had brought the corrupt practices of Deshmukh in the knowledge of the senior leaders and the Chief Minister of the Government of Maharashtra. Immediately thereafter, on 17.03.2021 an Order vide Notification of the Home Department of the Respondent No. 1 (Home secretary) bearing no. IPS2021/Vol.No.107/Pol-1 was issued, by virtue of which, the petitioner was transferred from the post of the Police Commissioner of Mumbai to the Home Guard Department in an arbitrary and illegal manner without the completion of the minimum fixed tenure of two years.
The said transfer was maliciously effected purportedly under Section 22N(2) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 with the reason that the transfer was necessitated by “administrative exigencies”.
It is settled law that the Orders have to stand on the reasons contained in the same and no reasons can be supplemented later. The petitioner believes that the reason for the transfer noted by State Home Secretary in the file is to ensure a free and fair investigation in the Antilia incident leading to FIR no. 35/2021 dated 25.02.2021 registered with Gamdevi Police Station as a result of a car with explosives being found at Altamount Road near Antilia, the residence of Mukesh Ambani, for Bomb Scare.
The said case is thereafter being investigated by the ATS and now the NIA and said Sachin Vaze, an officer of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai has been arrested for custodial interrogation by NIA. All necessary assistance had been rendered by the petitioner’s office and his officers for the conduct of a free and fair investigation by the ATS and the NIA into the Antilia incident. It is not even the case of NIA that the petitioner had in any manner obstructed in a free and fair investigation by NIA.
Deshmukh, Home Minister, Maharashtra has stated in an interview conducted on 18.03.2021 under the aegis of ‘Lokmat’ that the impugned transfer was not on administrative grounds. The transfer of the petitioner in the aforesaid circumstances is for reasons smeared with malice when there is no iota of material or evidence – far from proof – found or even imputed against the petitioner, and is solely based on conjectures, surmises and pure speculation, without the detail of any sort against the petitioner having been noticed by anybody. Such transfer followed by adverse media publicity by Deshmukh is in violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
Having made such startling revelation, the petitioner is also apprehending further malicious and coercive actions against him at the instance of disgruntled Home Minister in abuse of his powers. While mechanically denying the contents of the letter dated 20.03.2021 submitted by the petitioner to the Chief Minister, Deshmukh has issued a Press Release threatening to initiate defamation proceedings against the petitioner. Hence, the present Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for seeking directions to safeguard fundamental rights of the petitioner and for seeking directions for impartial investigation by CBI into various corrupt malpractices of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of the Government of Maharashtra.”