Chandiwal Commission gives clean chit to Anil Deshmukh in extortion case

Anil Deshmukh

The Commission submitted its 201-page report along with 1,400 pages of annexures to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Dilip Patil

Nagpur/Mumbai: The Justice K U Chandiwal Commission appointed last March to probe former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption and extortion against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh submitted a 201-page report to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday giving Deshmukh a clean chit and called the Indian Police Services (IPS) Officer’s claims false, according to media reports.

The retired judge Kailash Uttamchand Chandiwal submitted the report, which had an additional 1,400 pages of annexures, in the presence of Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil. The retired judge of the Bombay High Court was appointed to lead a single-member probe on March 30, 2021, after Singh wrote a letter addressed to the Chief Minister, Deputy CM, Chief Secretary, and other posts in authority in which he claimed that Deshmukh ran an extortion racket and asked police officers to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars, restaurants, and other establishments, the media reports said.

The Commission was required to enquire into three main things: Whether Singh had submitted any proof in his letter dated March 20, 2021, which established that Deshmukh or any officer from his office committed any offence of misconduct as alleged; whether the allegations leveled by Singh, citing the messages from Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjay Patil, Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze have any truth; and whether it warranted an investigation by Anti-Corruption Bureau or any other investigating agency.

According to media reports, the Commission did not find substance in the allegations levelled against Deshmukh by Singh. It has cited Singh’s submission, in which the former Mumbai Police Commissioner had clearly said that he had no evidence but for the letter written to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Singh had claimed that Deshmukh asked police officers to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai. The officer referred to Singh’s submission citing that there was no direct evidence to substantiate his charges against Deshmukh, who had already refuted Singh’s charges.

The Commission’s report is likely to be presented at the State Cabinet and later, the government will take a call on making it public. During the nearly year-long probe, the Commission had recorded the statements of Deshmukh, dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze and others. Singh had appeared before the Commission once, after multiple summonses.