Statements of two Mumbai police officers have been recorded in connection with city’s former top cop Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption and misconduct against former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, an official said on Wednesday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Raju Bhujbal and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sanjay Patil recorded their statements before Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) recently, the official said.
Param Bir Singh, who was under flak over the handling of the bomb scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence, was transferred from the post of Mumbai police commissioner on March 17. Three days later, he wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in which he alleged that Mr Deshmukh had asked police officer Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore per month from bars and restaurants.
Mr Deshmukh on Monday resigned as the home minister on “moral grounds” soon after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI probe into the allegations levelled by Mr Singh.
In his letter to the chief minister, Mr Singh had said that he was informed by ACP Sanjay Patil about the home minister’s demand about the money collection, and also cited the chat between him and the ACP.
“In his statement, ACP Patil said he had met Mr Deshmukh along with other police officers to brief about a raid conducted at a hukkah parlour in Thane. But before or after this visit, he had never met the then home minister,” the official said.
“As per his statement, he met Mr Waze at the Mumbai Police Commissionerate’s compound, where the latter told him that he came to brief the home minister about some investigation. During their discussion, Mr Waze told him that the minister allegedly sought information about the collection of Rs 3 lakh each from 1,750 bars and restaurants in the city,” he added.
But the ACP said in the statement said he was unaware whether the meeting between Mr Waze and Mr Deshmukh took place or not, he said.
In his statement, DCP Bhujbal said that he had attended a meeting on March 4 at Mr Deshmukh’s official residence ”Dnyaneshwari” as a nodal officer to brief the seniors about the issues related to crime and others.
“When asked specifically whether he met Deshmukh and his assistant and if there was any discussion on money collection from bars and restaurants, Bhujbal said ACP Patil later came there and he told the minister’s assistant that the information about such establishments was not based on facts,” the official said.