Anil Deshmukh corruption allegations: Chandiwal Committee gets Civil Court powers

Lekha G

The Maharashtra Government delegated powers of a Civil Court to Justice Chandiwal Committee to conduct a probe into the corruption allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against ex-State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

On March 20, Mr. Singh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that the NCP leader Mr. Deshmukh had given a target to some police officers to collect 100 crores per month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.

A one-member committee comprising the High Court’s retired Judge Kailash Uttamchand Chandiwal was set up on March 30 to conduct a judicial inquiry into the matter.

In a notification issued on May 3 the State Government delegated powers of a Civil Court to the probe committee stating that the matter under inquiry was of “Definite public importance”.

After the probe committee was set up, Leader of Opposition Party, Devendra Fadnavis had criticised the government and claimed that the panel could not be called a Judicial Commission as it was not given powers under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952.

He had further termed it as an “Eyewash” and tweeted that “Neither it is constituted nor has been given the powers under the Commissions of Inquiry Act,1952, as was done in case of Hon Justice Zoting Committee during our tenure.”

Mr. Deshmukh had rejected the allegations against him and resigned as Home Minister on April 5 after the CBI on directions of Bombay High Court had registered an FIR against him and conducted searches at his premises in Mumbai and Nagpur.

Deshmukh moved the High Court seeking to quash the FIR registered against him alleging that it was a “Blazed, dubious and ulterior motive at the behest of those having political or other vendetta” against him.

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