The CBI on Wednesday received a court nod to question Sachin Waze over corruption allegations against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh as the suspended police officer dropped a “letter bomb” with damaging claims against him and Shiv Sena minister Anil Parab.
In a related development, a report submitted by the Mumbai Police to the Home department said Sachin Waze was reinstated in the Crime Intelligence Unit in June last year on the insistence of the then police commissioner Param Bir Singh despite strong objection raised by the then Joint CP (crime).
Sachin Waze, in the news since an SUV laden with explosives was found parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence here in February-end, has continued to hog the limelight with new revelations related to him and a clutch of important persons coming out almost daily.
Sachin Waze on Wednesday claimed Anil Deshmukh had demanded Rs 2 crore from him to continue his service in the Mumbai police and alleged state minister Anil Parab asked him to collect money from some contractors in Mumbai.
Anil Parab rubbished Sachin Waze’s claim. Sachin Waze, who was reinstated in the police service last year, made the sensational claim in a letter which he tried to submit before a special NIA court.
However, special judge PR Sitre refused to take his letter on record and asked him to follow the required procedure.
The suspended assistant police inspector, an accused in the explosives case and the subsequent death of businessman Mansukh Hiran, is currently in the NIA custody.
Anil Deshmukh, a senior NCP leader, resigned as home minister on Monday after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI probe into corruption allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
“I duly was reinstated in service on June 6, 2020. That soon after my reinstatement there were certain agitators (people, who wanted) to reverse the reinstatement.”
Apparently, then it was ordered by (NCP president) Sharad Pawar to again place me under suspension.
“That, at that time the then home minister sir (Anil Deshmukh) also told me that he will convince Pawar saheb and for that purpose he (Hm sir) asked me to pay Rs 2 crore,” Sachin Waze claimed in the four-page handwritten letter.
Sachin Waze, 49, said he expressed his inability to pay such a huge sum.
“I had expressed my inability to pay such an amount. On this, the home minister sir asked me to pay in a later course,” he added.
Sachin Waze claimed that at a meeting in the Sahyadri guest house in south Mumbai, Anil Deshmukh had asked him to look into a complaint related to the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) which was under preliminary enquiry. SBUT is a non-profit organisation tasked with carrying out a mega redevelopment project in the Bhendi Bazaar area of South Mumbai.
Anil Deshmukh had asked him to bring the trustees of the SBUT to him for “negotiation” about the enquiry, Sachin Waze claimed.
“He also insisted to initiate primary talks to get Rs 50 crore from the SBUT in order to close the said enquiry. I had expressed my inability to do any such things as I do not know anyone from the SBUT and I also did not have any control over the enquiry,” Sachin Waze added.
Sachin Waze’s letter claimed that in January 2021, minister Anil Parab asked him to look into an inquiry against “fraudulent” contractors listed in the BMC and collect at least Rs 2 crore from about 50 such contractors.
Anil Parab, a Shiv Sena leader, rejected Sachin Waze’s claims and said he was ready to face any probe into the allegations.
Talking to reporters, Anil Parab said, “I swear in the name of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and my two daughters that I haven’t done anything wrong.”
He said there was a BJP strategy to malign the image of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the MVA government.
“By targeting me, a close aide of the chief minister, they think they can put the government in trouble. BJP leaders have been saying for the last two days that another wicket will fall. This conspiracy was being hatched that time as they knew Sachin Waze will give such a letter,” Anil Parab said.
The letter also claimed that Anil Deshmukh had asked Sachin Waze to collect Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh each from around 1,650 bars and restaurants in Mumbai (this claimed had been made by Sachin Waze earlier also).
The suspended cop claimed to have informed the then police commissioner Param Bir Singh about these developments.
Meanwhile, a special NIA court allowed the CBI to question Sachin Waze in connection with its preliminary enquiry (PE) launched to investigate the allegations of corruption raised by Param Bir Singh against Anil Deshmukh.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed an application before the court seeking permission to question Sachin Waze, currently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Judge Sitre heard the CBI’s plea while extending the NIA custody of Sachin Waze till April 9. Sachin Waze was arrested by the anti-terror agency on March 13.
Param Bir Singh had filed a petition in the HC seeking a CBI probe against Anil Deshmukh, alleging the NCP leader had asked Sachin Waze and other police officers to extort Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants when he was the home minister. Anil Deshmukh had denied the allegations.
The Mumbai Police report said Sachin Waze bypassed hierarchy and reported directly to the then Commissioner of Police (read Param Bir Singh), and he even attended ministerial-level briefings along with the CP in important cases like the TRP scam, DC (Dilip Chhabria) car finance case, Mukesh Ambani security scare case.
The decision to reinstate the “encounter specialist” Sachin Waze, who was suspended after the alleged custodial death of bomb blast accused Khwaja Yunus in 2003, in the Mumbai Police force was taken at a meeting held on June 5, 2020.
The reason was given for revoking the suspension of Sachin Waze and 56 other police officers and staffers, was a shortage of manpower due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The report said the then Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) had raised a strong objection against Sachin Waze’s posting in the CIU. However, on the insistence of then CP Mumbai (Param Bir Singh), the order was issued “out of helplessness” on June 9 and Sachin Waze joined the CIU.
Meanwhile, statements of two Mumbai police officers have been recorded in connection with Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Anil Deshmukh, an official said.