With 75 questions, CBI grills Deshmukh for 11 hours on specific allegations
New Delhi, Apr 15: Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Rs 100 crore extortion allegation levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh.
The questioning lasted for 11 hours, during which Deshmukh was asked 75 questions. He was questioned at the DRDO guest house by Abhishek Dular and Kiran S, both superintendent of police rank officers of the CBI.
The questioning largely centred around Deshmukh's alleged messages with ACP Sanjay Patil. Following the letter written by Singh, the CBI took over the investigation and since has questioned several persons. Deshmukh was confronted with the statements made by the others.
Deshmukh was asked about the specific allegation made by Singh as well as Sachin Waze, who accused the former minister of setting a target of Rs 100 crore. He was asked if he had asked Waze to collect money through extortions from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
In addition to probing Deshmukh, the CBI is also likely to go into the timing of the letter written by Singh. Many have questioned the timing of the letter, which came just days after the arrest of Sachin Waze.
Following the questioning, Deshmukh said all allegations were denied and this was just an attempt to malign the state government.
The questioning took place based on the statements given by Singh and suspended Mumbai cop Sachin Waze against Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde. Singh and Waze said that the two were privy to the demands made by Deshmukh.
Last week the CBI questioned former constable Vinayak Shinde and bar owner Mahesh Shetty in connection with the case.
Singh had in a letter alleged that Palande was present when Deshmukh allegedly asked suspended cop Sachin Waze to allegedly extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants of Mumbai, they said.
Waze, who was arrested last month by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the case of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house, in his statement had reportedly claimed Shinde was present during one such conversation.
The agency started its preliminary enquiry into the allegations of bribery against Deshmukh on Tuesday on the orders of the high court.
The CBI has so far recorded statements of Param Bir Singh, currently posted as the Director General of state Home Guards, Sachin Waze, DCP Raju Bhujbal, ACP Sanjay Patil, advocate Jayshree Patil, a petitioner, and hotel owner Mahesh Shetty.
Singh was shifted from the post of Mumbai police commissioner to the Home Guards department on March 17.
Later, he filed a petition in the HC seeking a CBI probe against Deshmukh, alleging the NCP leader had asked Waze and other police officers to extort Rs 100 crore from restaurants and bars in Mumbai.