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Maharashtra Home Minister resigns: Vazegate busts ‘Vasooligate’

The Bombay High Court pronounced its verdict over the plea filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner and now DG- Home Guard Parambir Singh requesting for an ‘impartial’ CBI probe against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s malpractices ranging from corruption to extortion

The political roller coaster ride in the state of Maharashtra seems to take even sharper and bemusing twists and turns at each successive rung. In what can be easily called a large-scale development, Anil Deshmukh, the state Home Minister has stepped down from his position after the Bombay High Court pronounced its verdict over Parambir Singh’s plea filed against him. The ‘Vazegate’ scandal has paved a way to blow the lid off the ‘vasooligate’ scandal.

Parambir Singh had written a letter to the state Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray calling out the extortion racket allegedly led by Anil Deshmukh, which stated that Deshmukh had directed the controversial cop, reinstated in a hurry after 16 long years of suspension over charges of custodial murders, Sachin Vaze to extort a whopping 100 crores every month from bars, restaurants, and other business outlets run in Mumbai.

Parambir’s letter to Thackeray was followed by him moving the apex court of the country to ask for an ‘impartial and detailed CBI investigation against Anil Deshmukh and his wrongdoings. The Hon. Supreme Court had rejected his plea and asked him to move to the High Court. This is what Parambir did next in another swift move of his.

After the ex-Mumbai top cop knocked on the doors of the Hon. Bombay High Court was reprimanded by a two-judge bench for dereliction of his duty. The court noted that no investigation could be asked for without a duly registered FIR against the accused and stated that if Parambir didn’t take action when he initially found out that his boss was indulged in a crime this big and after that, didn’t even get an FIR registered against Deshmukh before approaching the court, he had failed in his duty as a police officer.

The hearing had taken place on the 31st of March and the Bombay High Court had reserved its order. The court’s verdict was finally pronounced on the 5th of April. While pronouncing the court’s verdict, Dipankar Datta, Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court stated it is an extraordinary case wherein the petitioner- Parambir Singh- has accused Anil Deshmukh in his PIL and thinks that the state police is biased. And this is the reason he didn’t file an FIR. The bench further stated that since it was an extraordinary case, the PIL could be maintained.

In another massive development, the court then ordered the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary probe into the matter in 15 days. The Chief Justice said, “Once the preliminary inquiry is complete, the Director CBI is at discretion to further course of action.”

Dipankar Datta disposed of the plea by Singh which challenged his transfer and said, “An FIR is the first step in setting the criminal law in motion.” The court also observed that Anil Deshmukh was the Home Minister and therefore no impartial probe could have been conducted by the police.

Soon after the CBI was brought into the scene after the court ordered a preliminary investigation into the allegations made against the Maharashtra Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh tendered his resignation to Uddhav Thackeray. In his resignation letter Deshmukh has written, “The Bombay High Court in its order dated April 5th, 2021, has directed the CBI to investigate the allegations against me. At this moment, I feel it is not morally correct to continue to serve as the Home Minister of Maharashtra, therefore I have stepped down from the position.”

Soon after the court had pronounced its verdict, NCP leaders Sharad Pawar, Anil Deshmukh, Ajit Pawar, and Supriya Sule had organized a meeting among them and it was here that Deshmukh had offered to quit. The motor mouth Shiv Sena Spokesperson Sanjay Raut steered clear of making any comment on what all transpired in the state of Maharashtra on 5th April. In a kind of statement which can be considered novel coming from Raut, he said, “Someone from the government will officially speak about the event; I am not a part of the Maharashtra government. Senior leaders like CM Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar will take a decision.”

Amid all the fast-paced and massive developments, CM Uddhav Thackeray is continuing to maintain a stony silence which forces everyone to be skeptical of his competence to head a state. Should not the CM of a state issue an official statement to try to come clean over such flabbergasting revelations being made which concern the police personnel of his state and his political allies?

While the entire nation continues to keep a close eye on the political circus of Maharashtra, a lot many sombre secrets are yet to be revealed. As Sachin Vaze and his associates are already inside the eye of the NIA’s tornado, Anil Deshmukh has undoubtedly felt the heat after the CBI will now begin with its probe against him. Newer and bigger milestones will soon be reached which is worth taking note of.

Sonakshi Datta

Intern, Goa Chronicle

#Anil Deshmukh, #Anil Deshmukh Resigns, #Parambir Singh, #Bombay High Court, #Sachin Vaze, #Vazegate, #Vasooligate, #Extortion, #Maha Vikas Aghadi, #Uddhav Thackeray, #Sharad Pawar, #Sanjay Raut, #Maharashtra, #CBI, #NIA, #Antilia Bomb Scare, #Mumbai Police


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