CBI Files Corruption Case Against Former Minister Anil Deshmukh

Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) - COSP8. Photo: UNODC (Representational Image)
Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) – COSP8. Photo: UNODC (Representational Image)

The CBI had initiated the investigation when the Bombay High Court directed it to carry out a preliminary inquiry into the allegations against Deshmukh.

By RMN News Service

India’s premier investigation agency the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on April 21 filed a first information report (FIR) against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and unknown people on charges of bribery, corruption, and criminal conspiracy.

According to a report of The Indian Express, the CBI has charged Deshmukh under Section 7 of the amended Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act), 2018, along with Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The preliminary investigation revealed that Deshmukh and others have committed a cognizable offence that led to the registration of the case against them by the CBI. According to the FIR, the former minister – along with others – attempted to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of his public duty.

THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2018 states that:

For sections 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the principal Act, the following sections shall be substituted, namely:—

‘‘7. Any public servant who,—

(a) obtains or accepts or attempts to obtain from any person, an undue advantage, with the intention to perform or cause performance of public duty improperly or dishonestly or to forbear or cause forbearance to perform such duty either by himself or by another public servant; or

(b) obtains or accepts or attempts to obtain, an undue advantage from any person as a reward for the improper or dishonest performance of a public duty or for forbearing to perform such duty either by himself or another public servant; or

(c) performs or induces another public servant to perform improperly or dishonestly a public duty or to forbear performance of such duty in anticipation of or in consequence of accepting an undue advantage from any person…

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.

The amended Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act now also extends to punish bribe givers under offence relating to bribing of a public servant.

The CBI had initiated the investigation when the Bombay High Court directed it to carry out a preliminary inquiry into the allegations against Deshmukh. The court had given 15 days to CBI to complete the inquiry before taking further action.

The preliminary inquiry finds that Deshmukh was aware of the reinstatement of the now suspended assistant police inspector (API) Sachin Waze into the police after 15 years while sensitive and “sensational” cases were being given to Waze for investigation.

Waze is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the Ambani house bomb scare case and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.

The CBI also said it will probe Deshmukh’s role in exercising “undue influence” over the transfer and posting of police officials as alleged by former Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh.

On March 20, according to The Indian Express report, Parambir Singh in an eight-page letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Sachin Waze to collect Rs. 100 crore every month, including Rs. 40-50 crore from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.

Earlier, Parambir Singh had filed a case in the Supreme Court, alleging he was transferred from the post of Mumbai police commissioner after he complained to Thackeray and other leaders about the “corrupt malpractices” of Deshmukh. 

As the Supreme Court asked Parambir Singh to approach the high court, he filed a case in the high court with the same allegations against Deshmukh and sought a probe by the CBI.

Moreover, Waze had earlier submitted a letter to the NIA Court supporting the allegations made by Parambir Singh against Deshmukh and also leveling charges against Transport Minister Anil Parab of the Shiv Sena party.

Waze has alleged that Deshmukh had asked him to pay Rs. 2 crore for his reinstatement with the Mumbai Police. The court, however, has not taken the letter on record.

According to a Times of India report, the CBI officials conducted searches across 4 locations in Maharashtra, including a 14-hour search of Deshmukh’s Nagpur home-cum-office. The searches were conducted on April 24 simultaneously at the 4 locations and the agency, according to the report, has seized electronic gadgets and some documents for further investigation.

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Rakesh Raman