CBI to quiz former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh, suspended cop Sachin Waze

NEW DELHI: The CBI will question former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and suspended police officer Sachin Waze in connection with its preliminary enquiry into alleged corruption by former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, officials said.

The agency had on Tuesday registered a preliminary enquiry into allegations of bribery against Deshmukh on the orders of the Bombay High Court, they said.

A team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers from Delhi have gone to Mumbai to carry out probe into the matter, they said.

Waze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case related to the recovery of an SUV with explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house on March 25 and subsequent murder of its owner Mansukh Hiran.

The central probe agency has taken necessary permissions to question Waze and will also meet Singh to get more specific details about his allegations against Deshmukh who had resigned on Monday after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter, they said.

Singh was transferred from commissioner’s post following the arrest of Waze by the NIA.

After his transfer from coveted Mumbai Police Commissioner’s post, Singh has alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including Waze, to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants.

Singh had approached the Bombay High Court through a Public Interest Litigation seeking a CBI probe into allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.

 A criminal writ petition was also filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Jayshree Patil on which the High Court ordered CBI probe and disposed other petitions in the matter.

The High Court, on Monday, had given 15 days to the CBI to conduct preliminary enquiry into the allegations, officials said.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni on Monday had said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry.

In its 52-page judgement, the bench said Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh had put at stake the citizen’s faith in the state police.

Such allegations, made by a serving police officer, against the state home minister could not be left unattended, and were required to be probed into, if prima facie, they made a case of a cognisable offence, the HC had said.