The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday booked the lawyer of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh for allegedly trying to influence the Bombay High Court-directed preliminary enquiry into corruption allegations against the leader.
Sources told India TV that the lawyer is likely to be arrested by Wednesday night.
The probe agency also questioned lawyer Anand Daga for allegedly trying to pay “illegal gratification” to a sub-inspector-rank officer of the agency to “subvert the preliminary enquiry”. A report of preliminary enquiry purportedly giving clean chit to Deshmukh was leaked Saturday night.
Following this, the CBI launched a probe into the leakage which has so far revealed that Deshmukh’s team allegedly tried to influence the conduct of PE against him by paying illegal gratification to a sub-inspector ranked officer of the agency.
“A number of media queries have been received regarding a CBI case registered against the then Maharashtra Home Minister and unknown others. It may be recalled that the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Bombay had ordered the registration of a Preliminary Enquiry(PE) in the said matter based on several PILs filed before the Hon’ble High Court.On completion of this PE, the competent authority directed registration of a regular case based on evidence collected during PE and the legal opinion. The FIR registered by CBI on 21.04.2021 has been available on CBI website since 24.04.2021.
Investigation in the matter is on-going,” the probe agency said in a release.
The CBI had on Wednesday examined Deshmukh’s son-in-law Gaurav Chaturvedi and lawyer Anand Daga in over its probe after which an FIR was registered. Officials said the CBI did not find Chaturvedi’s involvement so far and he was allowed to go.
Allegations against Deshmukh had surfaced after the removal of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. He was removed after the role of a policemen Sachin Waze surfaced into the case of an explosive-laden SUV which was found parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. Waze was arrested by the NIA.
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, after his removal, Singh had alleged Deshmukh had asked Waze to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants of Mumbai. The FIR alleged that Deshmukh “and others” exercised undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials.