Maharashtra political crisis: Intelligence Commissioner had alerted DGP on malpractices in postings in August 2020: No action taken, was shunted out
Geetanjali Minhas | March 23, 2021 | Mumbai
The political crisis in Maharashtra is turning murkier. As former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh has gone to the Supreme Court, seeking a CBI inquiry against home minister Anil Deshmukh, one of his contentions turns out to be well grounded: An intelligence officer had flagged corruption and malpractices but no action was taken.
Singh, removed as city police head, last week wrote a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, accusing the home minister of running an extortion racket. On Monday, he filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the CBI for conducting an unbiased probe into Deshmukh’s alleged "corrupt malpractices".
The petition says the Commissioner Intelligence of State Intelligence Department had alerted the department about malpractices in postings and transfers by Deshmukh.
“It is reliably learnt that on or about 24/ 25 August 2020, one Rashmi Shukla, the Commissioner Intelligence, State Intelligence Department, Government of Maharashtra, had brought it to the knowledge of the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Government of Maharashtra, about corrupt malpractices in postings/transfers by Shri Anil Deshmukh based on telephonic interception. She was shunted out rather than taking any firm action against said Shri Anil Deshmukh,” says the petition.
It has come to light that on August 25, Shukla had indeed written to the DGP, Maharashtra, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, on the police and political nexus. “Upon receipt of numerous complaints alleging that a network of ‘brokers’ had emerged, particularly individuals with firmly ingrained political connections, are engaged in arranging desired postings for police officers in exchange for massive monetary compensation. In order to authenticate these charges, phone numbers of individuals were placed under telephonic surveillance, with due regard to the established process. The reason for surveillance was to curtail the commitment of criminal offence(s) and prevent the breach of trust,” Shukla writes in the letter.
“Consequently upon review of the gathered data it is clear that there is significant merit in these allegations. It has been discovered that the aforementioned ‘brokers’ are in close contact and embroiled in these negotiations with several influential [persons] …The police officers ranging from Inspectors to several high ranking IPS officers are in contact with such undesirable individuals. It is observed that the obtained information and evidence is highly incriminating and gravely incriminates a number of individuals engaged in this activity,” says the letter.
It also says that a similar situation had arisen in June 2017 when Mumbai Police had registered offence u/s 402, 419,465,467,468, 471, 170, 511, 34 IPC r/w 120 B and 66(d) IT Act, to probe the matter and arrested 7 accused (one of the accused Banda Nawaj Maner is found to be active again) submitted charge sheet in the court and the case is pending trail.
The letter further states that detailed and factual report substantiating the findings is enclosed and surveillance transcripts are enclosed in sealed envelope. It asks for high level inquiry against all stakeholder engaged in activity and said that the matter should be immediately brought to the notice of the chief minister as its casts aspersions against credibility and functioning of government and as a result erode public faith and trust in administrative machinery and integrity of police department.
Jaiswal then wrote to additional home secretary Sitaram Kunte, recommending that the matter be brought to immediate attention of the chief minister and ordering of immediate and comprehensive inquiry State CID, Pune, to identify concerned Individuals and taking necessary legal action. He advised maintaining secrecy of report to prevent unnecessary scrutiny and which may bring disrepute to government.
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