Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh allegied that Home Minister Anil Deshmukh asked Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 cr every month from bars, restaurants & other establishments.
Three days after Param Bir Singh was transferred owing to some "unpardonable" lapses in ensuring security outside Mukesh Ambani's house, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on Saturday dropped a letter bomb accusing Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of corruption, extortion and interference in police investigations.
Anil Deshmukh has rubbished these charges and said this is Singh's attempt to save himself from legal action for his "serious lapses".
In his letter written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh has alleged that Anil Deshmukh instructed suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore every month for him.
Meanwhile, hitting out at the Uddhav Thackeray government over these grave allegations, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded Anil Deshmukh's resignation and an independent investigation into the matter.
On March 12, Sachin Vaze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his suspected role in staging the bomb scare outside Mukesh Ambani's house. He is also under the radar in the Mansukh Hiren death case.
Sachin Vaze was the investigating officer in the bomb scare case and reported to Param Bir Singh.
Here are 10 points on Param Bir Singh's letter bomb:
1) Param Bir Singh has alleged that Anil Deshmukh called Sachin Vaze to his official residence "several times" over the past few months and "repeatedly instructed" him to "assist in the collection of funds" for him.
2) "Sachin Vaze, who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, was called by Shri Anil Deshmukh, Hon'ble Home Minister, Maharashtra to his official residence several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in the collection of funds for the Hon'ble Home Minister," Param Bir Singh claims in his letter.
3) Param Bir Singh has also alleged that Anil Deshmukh explained to Sachin Vaze how this amount was to be collected.
Anil Deshmukh, alleges Singh, said there are about 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.
"If a sum of Rs 2-3 lakh each was collected from each of them, a monthly collection of Rs 40-50 crores was achievable. The Hon'ble Home Minister [Anil Deshmukh] added that the rest of the collection could be made from other sources," Param Bir Singh alleges in his letter.
4) Another claim that Param Bir Singh has made in his letter is that he had informed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress President (NCP) Sharad Pawar about the "misdeeds and malpractices" of Anil Deshmukh in mid-March.
"At one of the briefing sessions in the wake of the Antilia incident held in mid-March 2021, when I was called late evening at Varsha to brief you, I had pointed out several misdeeds and malpractices being indulged into by the Hon'ble Home Minister [Anil Deshmukh]. I have similarly briefed the Hon'ble Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra [Ajit Pawar], the President of the Nationalist Congress Party, Sharad Pawar and other senior ministers also about the misdeeds and malpractices," Param Bir Singh claims in his letter.
He added that during these briefings, he noticed that some of the ministers were "already aware of some aspects mentioned by me to them".
5) Besides this, Param Bir Singh has also accused Anil Deshmukh of routinely calling police officers and interfering with investigations.
Referring to the death of Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha MP Mohan Delkar, Param Bir Singh said Anil Deshmukh pressurised him to register an abetment to suicide FIR.
Mohan Delkar was found dead in a hotel in Mumbai's Marine Drive area on February 22.
Param Bir Singh in the letter alleged that from day one, Anil Deshmukh desired that a case of abetment of suicide in the Mohan Delkar case be registered in Mumbai. He added that while the suicide had occurred in Mumbai, all the alleged acts of abetment had taken place in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and thus the abetment of suicide, if any, was ideally required to be investigated by the police of the Union territory.
"The Hon'ble Home Minister kept insisting otherwise despite having been informed by me about the opinion of legal experts on this issue," Param Bir Singh said in the letter.
6) Meanwhile, responding to these allegations, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh termed them as "false". He said Param Bir Singh is making these charges in an attempt to escape legal action for his serious lapses.
"Param Bir Singh has made these false allegations to save himself as well as to protect himself from further legal actions," Anil Deshmukh said in a tweet.
In another tweet, he said, the involvement of Sachin Vaje in the Antilia bomb scare case and the Mansukh Hiren murder case is "becoming clear". "Its threads are likely to reach the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The investigation is underway."
7) Later in the evening, Anil Deshmukh wrote a letter to Param Bir Singh and said he will be filing a defamation case against him. Challenging the former top Mumbai cop to prove his allegations, Anil Deshmukh said, "Parambir Singh has made these false allegations to save himself. If Parambir Singh says that Sachin Vaze met Parambir Singh in February and told him all this, then why didn't he tell him at the same time. Why are so many days quiet?
8) The opposition BJP has demanded the immediate resignation of Anil Deshmukh and an independent investigation into the allegations made by Param Bir Singh.
9) Soon after news of the letter broke, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a high-level meeting at his residence. The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), and other senior government officials.
According to sources, the CMO is also expected to contact Param Bir Singh to confirm the veracity of the letter as it was sent from a personal email ID and was missing the former Mumbai Police chief's signature.
10) Sources in the Shiv Sena have told India Today TV that Anil Deshmukh is likely to resign in a day or two. Recently in a meeting with CM Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar reportedly conveyed that Deshmukh, an NCP leader, must step down. (Soure: India Today)