Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh resigns after HC's corruption probe
Siliguri, India: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh resigned Monday, hours after Bombay's apex court ordered a corruption probe on the politician, multiple media reports confirm.
Deshmukh's Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson confirmed ANI that the minister has applied for resignation to the state CM Uddav Thackeray.
The CM is yet to accept the resignation.
The Bombay High Court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a prelim probe over the corruption allegations filed by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh among other petitions against Deshmukh.
Police Chief Param Bir Singh had sought an "immediate and fair investigation" on the various "corrupt malpractices" of Maharashtra's Home Minister, LiveLaw reports.
The development comes after Maharashtra's ruling party repeatedly shot down the resignation efforts of the home minister in the past.
Speaking to reporters, NCP's spokesperson Nawab Malik said: "After the High Court order, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh met Pawar Ji and party leaders and said that he does not want to remain in the post."
"In his resignation letter to the Maharashtra CM, Deshmukh says he does not find it morally correct to continue as the Home Minister after Bombay High Court's order," Malik added.
What are the allegations against Deshmukh?
Deshmukh belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party which is a constituent of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra.
He has been accused of running an extortion racket where he ordered police officers, including suspending assistant assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, to collect Rs. 100 crore each month from over a thousand bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
PILs also allege corrupted police transfers and political interference in probes.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni had ordered a CBI probe and to conclude the inquiry within 15 days, as per Livelaw.
"Interest of justice will be done if the director of CBI is allowed to conduct a preliminary inquiry. Once the preliminary inquiry is complete, director CBI is at discretion to further course of action," the bench said.
But ordering an independent probe with the police on Deshmukh in a state where he is the home minister is not possible.
One lawyer -- Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil -- who is among the many pleading against Deshmukh filed a writ petition calling for a CBI probe.
If the state government permits the CBI, "the director CBI be at discretion to further course of action," the court said.
Responding to pleas filed, the court said "Prima facie, the issues are such that the very faith of citizens in the functioning of the police department is at stake."
"If there is any amount of truth in such allegations, certainly it has a direct effect on the citizens' confidence in the police machinery in the State Such allegations, therefore, cannot remain unattended and are required to be looked into in the manner known to law when, prima facie, they indicate the commission of a cognizable offense".
Sing, before moving to the HC wrote to CM Uddav Thackeray which the court said was not enough.
Anil Deshmusk has dismissed all the allegations and requested a separate probe by the state government.