Dilip Walse Patil is new home minister of Maharashtra
Geetanjali Minhas | April 6, 2021 | Mumbai
Anil Deshmukh is reportedly considering approaching the supreme court Tuesday to challenge a Bombay high court order that had forced him to quit as home minister of Maharashtra a day earlier.
Deshmukh tendered his resignation to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, citing moral grounds, after the high court ordered a preliminary inquiry by the CBI in the corruption allegations by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. The court asked the CBI to submit report within 15 days, after which it would be the agency’s discretion to decide on further course of action.
A bench of chief justice Dipankar Dutta and justice GS Kulkarni said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry. The court held that an unbiased probe is required to unearth the truth and there can be no independent probe if it is given to the police where Deshmukh is the home minister.
The CBI team is expected to arrive in Mumbai Tuesday afternoon.
The court order has come even when the MVA government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress alliance has already instituted a probe by a retired high court judge into the matter. NCP spokesperson Nawab Mallik said, “Singh’s allegations are baseless but the party respects the court and hence the minister has quit. The truth will come out.” Deshmukh belong to NCP.
The case is a fallout of a bomb scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence, Antilia. Deshmukh last month removed Singh for lapses in the case including the arrest of assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze and the mysterious death of business Mansukh Hiren. Singh then went to press with allegation of malpractices against Deshmukh, creating a political storm.
The new home minister is Dilip Walse Patil, who held the labour and excise portfolios. A former speaker and seven-time MLA, he is one of the senior most lawmakers in Maharashtra. He is the son of former Congress MLA and NCP party supremo Sharad Pawar’s friend, Dattatray Walse Patil. He started his career as personal assistant to Pawar. As a cabinet minister during 1999-2008, Walse Patil headed the department of finance and planning, energy, ministry of higher and technical education and also the medical education department.
Rural development minister Hasan Mushrif has been given additional charge of labour department. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has been given the charge of excise department in addition to finance and planning.
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