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Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh appears before CBI


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MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh appeared before the CBI on Wednesday for questioning in connection with the allegations of corruption levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, an official said.

Deshmukh reached the DRDO guest house, where a team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is camping to, in suburban Santacruz around 10 am, he said.

The CBI on Monday issued a notice calling Deshmukh to join the agency's probe into the allegations levelled against him by Param Bir Singh and suspended police officer Sachin Waze, the official said.

Waze, an assistant police inspector, is under investigation in the case of an explosive-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in south Mumbai.

The CBI is conducting a preliminary enquiry into the allegations against Deshmukh levelled by Singh after he was removed from the post of Mumbai police commissioner.

The allegations were reportedly corroborated by Waze in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting a probe into the SUV case, officials earlier said.

The Bombay High Court last week directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations levelled by Singh against Deshmukh.

In a letter, Singh had claimed that Deshmukh asked Waze to allegedly extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.

Deshmukh has denied the allegations.

So far, the CBI has recorded statements of Param Bir Singh, Sachin Waze, Deputy Commissioner of Police Raju Bhujbal, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjay Patil, advocate Jayshree Patil and hotel owner Mahesh Shetty.

It also questioned Deshmukh's personal assistant Kundan Shinde and personal secretary Sanjeev Palande on Sunday.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)