The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra on Monday urged the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to come clean on the curious case of ‘missing’ former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Leader of Opposition (Council) Pravin Darekar said that the home department must find out their whereabouts and inform the people where Deshmukh and Singh are currently located.
“The government should ascertain whether Deshmukh is in Mumbai, Nagpur, his constituency, or elsewhere, and also where Singh is currently. The latter (Singh) is still an officer working under the Home Department,” Darekar told mediapersons here.
His comments came amid reports that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sought the help of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to trace Deshmukh, who is sought by both the central agencies for probe.
Similarly, Singh is on the radar of Maharashtra police and a probe commission investigating his March ‘letter-bomb’ wherein he had levelled certain allegations of corruption against Deshmukh, leading to the latter’s resignation as Home Minister on April 5.
Subsequently, Deshmukh has been raided by both the ED and the CBI in the past six months. He also moved various courts, but ignored at least 5 summons from the ED, contending that the matter is pending before the courts.
Likewise, Singh, 59, who had proceeded ‘on leave’ in early-May and was reportedly living in Chandigarh, has not responded to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or to notices seeking his appearance before the retired Justice K. U. Chandiwal Commission set up by the Maharashtra government.
Last week, Chandiwal had issued a bailable warrant of Rs 50,000 against Singh and placed the matter for further hearing on September 22. Earlier, Singh was fined thrice which he paid up, even as he moved the courts challenging the setting up of the probe panel.
Among those ‘skipping’ calls to join the probe is former state Intelligence Department chief Rashmi Shukla, who bunked Mumbai Police’s two summons in April in connection with the investigation into the alleged illegal phone-tapping case of several prominent persons.
However, in May, Shukla, 56, agreed to record her statement with a police team that went from Mumbai to Hyderabad, where she is posted as the Additional DGP of CRPF, South Zone.
The cases involving Deshmukh and Singh are also linked to the probe into the planting of an SUV with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note near Mukesh Ambani’s house ‘Antilia’ in south Mumbai, followed by the death of the vehicle’s owner, Mansukh Hiran.
The Mumbai Police filed a chargesheet in the case earlier this month, detailing the sequence of events. The police also invoked terror and murder charges against all the accused.
Officials attribute the apprehensions of possible detention or arrest by the concerned agencies as the primary reasons behind VIPs or prominent personalities not turning up physically for investigations.
Instead, they rely on their battery of legal advisors or move the courts at various levels to evade the probe summons, a luxury which the commoners can ill-afford, officials said.