Anil Deshmukh, who resigned as the Maharashtra home minister on Monday, is likely to challenge the Bombay High Court order asking the CBI to conduct a preliminary probe into allegations of corruption levelled against him by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, NCP sources said.
He is likely to approach the Supreme Court on Tuesday, they said. After tendering his resignation in the afternoon, Deshmukh visited the national capital and met senior lawyers here.
Deshmukh, a senior NCP leader, resigned after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of extortion against him by Singh. He submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
"I don't have the moral right to continue in office after the court order. I have decided to quit. Kindly relieve me from my post," Deshmukh's resignation letter said.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni said this was an “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” case that warranted an independent inquiry.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been demanding his removal after the former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh dropped a letter alleging that Anil Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect Rs 100 crore monthly from bars and hotels in Mumbai.
Param Bir Singh had earlier this month moved the HC demanding an “immediate and unbiased” probe against Deshmukh, who he claimed asked police officer Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants. The former cop claimed that Deshmukh had conducted a meeting at his residence with several Mumbai police officers including Waze in February this year.
However, the HC directed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s director to complete the preliminary inquiry within 15 days and then take a decision on the further course of action. The bench was presiding over three public interest litigations, including one filed by Singh himself, another by city-based lawyer Jayshree Patil, and the third by teacher Mohan Bhide, seeking various reliefs.
The bench has disposed of all three pleas.