Central probe agency working on orders of Bombay High Court, says BJP
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Shiv Sena and the Congress, allies in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, on Saturday condemned the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) action of registering an FIR against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
The FIR, which was registered on April 21, was based on the findings of a preliminary enquiry initiated on the directions of the Bombay High Court on April 5 following allegations of corruption levelled against Mr. Deshmukh by former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh.
NCP’s State president Jayant Patil termed it a move to make political gains. “This is nothing but an attempt to defame Anil Deshmukh. He has been co-operating with the CBI in this investigation from the start. The Bombay High Court had only directed the CBI to conduct preliminary inquiry. No report from that inquiry was ever placed before the court. But an FIR was filed and Mr. Deshmukh’s establishments were raided. This is nothing but misuse of power.”
Mr. Patil said the whole investigation was started on the basis of a statement by Sachin Vaze, who is under the scanner for his role in the Antilia bomb scare case and Mansukh Hiren murder case.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut questioned the CBI’s move as the court had only ordered it to conduct a preliminary inquiry. “The FIR and the raids are examples of going overboard,” he said. The Congress termed the action ‘a joke’. Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant said, “Sachin Vaze himself is under arrest while Singh is under scanner for helping Vaze. A case needs to be registered against Singh for not taking action when he was Mumbai Commissioner of Police .”
The BJP retorted that the CBI was working on the orders of the court and the mandate to register an FIR was given in its order calling for the preliminary inquiry into the allegations against Mr. Deshmukh. Leader of Opposition in the Council Pravin Darekar said, “The court had clearly ordered that the inquiry be completed in 15 days and granted permission to the CBI to move ahead if it found strong pieces of evidence.”
Mr. Darekar said the ministers in the MVA government had not read the court order’s properly and were interpreting it in their own way. BJP State president Chandrakant Patil also demanded a probe against State Transport Minister Anil Parab, who was also named by Mr. Waze in a letter on ministers who demanded extortion money.
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