Ex-Maha minister Anil Deshmukh's aide tried to track location of CBI officers: Agency charge sheet

Ex-Maha minister Anil Deshmukh's aide tried to track location of CBI officers: Agency charge sheet

New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) A close associate of Anil Deshmukh allegedly attempted to track the location of CBI officers investigating a bribery case against the former Maharashtra minister, the agency has alleged in its charge sheet in a case linked to the leak of its confidential report giving him a purported clean chit.

The draft report of the agency giving a purported clean chit to Anil Deshmukh, who was facing large-scale bribery allegations, was leaked to the media on August 29, 2021. Following this, the CBI arrested Anil Deshmukh's lawyer Anand Daga and the agency's Sub-Inspector Abhishek Tiwari. The two were charge-sheeted later that year.

In its supplementary charge sheet filed in August this year, the CBI has alleged that Daga had shared mobile numbers of the CBI investigating officer and supervisory officers probing the bribery case against Anil Deshmukh with his distant relative Vikrant Deshmukh on June 7, 2021.

According to the CBI, Vikrant Deshmukh managed the ex-minister's 'financial accounts under the guise of an education trust'.

The CBI alleged that Vikrant Deshmukh was part of the conspiracy to leak the documents.

On June 8, 2021, Daga tasked Vikrant Deshmukh with getting the locations of the CBI officers and the latter agreed to do it, the agency said.

It has alleged that Vikrant Deshmukh was part of the conspiracy with Daga to subvert the ongoing CBI investigation by 'illegally procuring the confidential document' as well as 'trying to track the movements' of the investigating and supervisory officers, the supplementary charge sheet said.

Counsels of Vikrant Deshmukh told the special court that he had no connection with the alleged offence cited in the charge sheet and he had been falsely implicated in the case.

The leaked report pertained to a preliminary enquiry (PE) registered by the CBI on April 6, 2021 against Anil Deshmukh, the then Maharashtra home minister, on the directives of the Bombay High Court. The court order came after former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh levelled corruption allegations against Anil Deshmukh.

In its PE findings, investigating DSP opined that a 'cognizable offence is made out in the matter' wherein Anil Deshmukh and others have 'attempted to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of their public duty'.

These findings became the basis of a CBI FIR registered against Anil Deshmukh on April 21, 2021.

Four months later, an internal draft report of the agency which gave a contrasting view that 'no cognizable offence' was made out against Anil Deshmukh was leaked to the media, triggering a political uproar with opposition parties accusing the agency of conducting a motivated probe against Anil Deshmukh.

Soon after the leak, the CBI booked its Sub-Inspector Abhishek Tiwari and Daga for allegedly leaking the documents. Both were arrested and charge-sheeted in 2021 as the agency continued its probe to dig deeper into the conspiracy.

The CBI filed a supplementary charge sheet in the matter before a special court in August this year naming Anil Deshmukh's daughter Pooja, daughter-in-law Rahat, Vikrant Deshmukh and Sayajeet Wayal as conspirators and giving their alleged roles in the conspiracy to leak the documents, they said.

All the accused were granted bail by the special court. PTI ABS DIV DIV

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