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Panel probing charges raised by Param Bir Singh an eyewash: Devendra Fadnavis | India News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday called the appointment of a panel by the Maharashtra government to probe the allegations of corruption levelled against state home minister Anil Deshmukh by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh an “eyewash”.
The Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly also alleged the committee cannot be called a judicial commission as it was not given powers under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952.
The state government on Tuesday set up the committee to be headed by retired high court judge Kailash Uttamchand Chandiwal. The panel is given the time of six months to submit its report to the state government.
In his letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, days after he was transferred as Mumbai police chief before the end of his term, Singh alleged that Deshmukh had given a target to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants to police officers including Sachin Waze.
Deshmukh had denied these allegations.
“Neither it (the Chandiwal committee) is constituted nor it has been given the powers under the Commission of Inquiry Act (1952) as was done in case of justice Zoting Committee during our tenure,” Fadnavis tweeted.
The Justice Zoting Committee is probing allegations of land grab against former BJP leader Eknath Khadse who had resigned as a cabinet minister in the Fadnavis-led government in 2016 following the controversy.
“We are of the view that appointing such committee is merely an eyewash and it does not solve any purpose, looking at the gravity and severity of the allegations,” Fadnavis said in another tweet.
Now the question remains how a retired judge without powers will conduct a probe against a sitting home minster, Fadnavis questioned.
Earlier, NCP leader and minister Jitendra Awhad had said that the orders issued to set up the Zoting and Chandiwal panels were almost identical.
Awhad had tagged Fadnavis in his tweet and sought production of official order, if any, issued by the then CM empowering the Zoting Committee with the Commission of Inquiry Act.
Fadnavis responded with a letter issued by his government delegating powers under the Commission of Inquiry Act to the Zoting Committee.