Dismissed Assistant Inspector of Police (API) Sachin Vaze, who cross-examined before a state-appointed commission probing the extortion charges leveled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh against former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh, said he was ”; failed”. Deshmukh’s demand to recover money from establishments in Mumbai.
In an “open letter” to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh urged Deshmukh to collect an amount of Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants during a meeting between the two at Deshmukh’s official residence on Waze by Deshmukh. was allegedly directed to him when he was the Home Minister. ,
In a signed affidavit to the commission, currently behind bars following his arrest by the NIA in connection with the Antilia security scare, Vaze had testified of a meeting with Deshmukh. In the affidavit, Waze said that he refused to collect these.
During cross-examination by Deshmukh’s lawyer Anita Castellino, Vaze was asked about a specific part of the affidavit in which she said she had met Singh and informed him about the meeting with Deshmukh in January, and during Deshmukh had reportedly asked them to assemble. 3.5 lakhs each from 1,650 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Quoting the affidavit, Castellino said: “‘He (Singh) said don’t give in to this pressure’. Is that true?” To this Waze replied ‘yes’. When she further asked whether Vaze had taken Singh’s advice, she said: “I was already dead.”
Friday was the fourth day of Waze’s cross-examination before the commission. This will continue next week when both Singh and Deshmukh will be presented before it.
The commission was set up by the government after Singh, in his letter to the CM, made allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.
In the letter, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande was present when Deshmukh asked Vaze to collect money from bars and restaurants.
Wez said in his statement that Palande had not demanded any money from him. He admitted that he had met her again in February 2021 at Dnyaneshwari, the home minister’s official residence and knew her as the home minister’s secretary.