Corruption case: CBI questions personal staffers of Deshmukh

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(Eds: Adds latest info) Mumbai, Apr 11 (PTI) The CBI on Sunday questioned two personal staffers of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with the allegations of corruption levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, officials said.

Deshmukh's personal assistant Kundan Shinde and personal secretary Sanjeev Palande were asked to appear before the CBI team in connection with its ongoing preliminary enquiry (PE) into the case following directives of the Bombay High Court, they said.

Both of them were being questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at the DRDO guest house in suburban Santacruz, the officials said.

Singh had in a letter alleged that Palande was present when Deshmukh allegedly asked suspended cop Sachin Waze to allegedly extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants of Mumbai, they said.

Waze, who was arrested last month by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the case of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house, in his statement had reportedly claimed Shinde was present during one such conversation.

The agency started its preliminary enquiry into the allegations of bribery against Deshmukh on Tuesday on the orders of the high court.

It sent a team of officers from Delhi to Mumbai to carry out the probe.

The CBI has so far recorded statements of Param Bir Singh, currently posted as the Director General of state Home Guards, Sachin Waze, DCP Raju Bhujbal, ACP Sanjay Patil, advocate Jayshree Patil, a petitioner, and hotel owner Mahesh Shetty.

Singh was shifted from the post of Mumbai police commissioner to the Home Guards department on March 17.

Later, he filed a petition in the HC seeking a CBI probe against Deshmukh, alleging the NCP leader had asked Waze and other police officers to extort Rs 100 crore from restaurants and bars in Mumbai.

Deshmukh, who has denied the allegations, resigned from the cabinet on April 5 after the HC order. PTI ZA ABS DV GK GK