Param Bir has no first hand info on graft charges against Deshmukh: Lawyer

Mumbai: Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh has no first hand information on his corruption allegations against ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh as details of alleged wrongdoing were provided to him by some officers, a lawyer of the senior IPS officer told an inquiry commission on Tuesday.

The commission, headed by retired Justice K U Chandiwal, is probing allegations of corruption and misuse of official position levelled against Deshmukh.

In March this year, the Maharashtra government had formed the one-member commission to probe Singh’s allegations against the NCP leader (71), who resigned from the state cabinet in April after a Bombay High Court order.

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On Tuesday, cross-examination of dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze was listed before the panel.

As the proceedings began, Waze moved a plea before the commission seeking to defer his cross-examination till Singh appears before the inquiry panel or files an affidavit.

However, the commission rejected his plea.

During the arguments, Singh’s lawyer Abhinav Chandrachud reiterated that the senior IPS officer does not have any further evidence to share in the matter.

“I believe his (Waze’s) apprehension is that today he is going to step into the witness box and tomorrow my client (Singh) will say something entirely different. “The affidavit will take a week. It will say nothing more than what has already been said, which is that the information given to him was provided by some officers…he (Singh) has no first hand information of what transpired,” the lawyer said.

“His information in that sense is hearsay. Even if he were to step into the witness box it would have no value in law because it would be what someone else told him. Therefore, he has nothing to depose,” Chandrachud added.

Despite the commission issuing multiple summonses and a bailable warrant against Singh, he has not appeared before it so far.

On Tuesday, his lawyer told the commission that Singh will file another affidavit pertaining to the matter.

Earlier, the former Mumbai police commissioner, in an affidavit, had told the commission he does not have any further evidence to share in the matter.

Days after he was shunted out as Mumbai police commissioner and transferred to the Home Guards in March this year, Singh had claimed in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that Deshmukh used to ask police officers to collect money from restaurant and bar owners in Mumbai.

The NCP leader has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are separately probing corruption and money laundering allegations against Deshmukh.

The former minister is in judicial custody in the case related to alleged money laundering.

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