Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said on Tuesday the state CID had recommended sacking of a former Mumbai deputy commissioner of police (DCP) who is accused of doctoring a CD pertaining to the interrogation of Pune-based billionaire scamster Hasan Ali Khan and for allegedly demanding a Rs.10 million bribe.
Replying to charges made by the opposition on the issue for the second consecutive day Tuesday, Patil told the state assembly that Ashok Deshbrathar, presently DCP (Railway Police), had been suspended following an inquiry by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Patil revealed that the CID has recommended that the IPS officer be dismissed from the police force under Article 311 of the constitution and criminal proceedings be initiated against him for defamation, causing intentional insult to provoke breach of peace and Section 3 of The Police Act, 1922.
"The CID probe has established that Deshbrathar had doctored the CD with an intention to malign the government. Also, he did not pass on the information about this interrogation to his superiors which proves his ulterior motives," Patil said.
The matter dates to 2008-09, when Khan, 53, was arrested by officers of the Worli police station in a fake passport case. Deshbrathar was the area DCP at the time.
Justifying Deshbrathar's suspension despite the sacking recommended by the CID, Patil said the government had decided to suspend him and order a departmental enquiry as part of the natural justice process.
The home minister added that though the voice in the CD belonged to Deshbrathar, he was not seen in the footage shot with a pen-camera.
Patil outrightly rejected the claims made in the CD that he, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had met in the presence of Khan at a five star hotel in Mumbai to finalise the appointment of Hasan Gafoor as the Mumbai police commissioner.
Patil pointed out that the concerned hotel had been shut since 2005, while parts of the premises were hired for marriages and other functions.
Patil also said that instead of interrogating Khan regarding charges for which he had been nabbed, Deshbrathar asked him unrelated questions.
Patil also claimed that Deshbrathar had demanded Rs.10 million from Yusuf Lakdawala for giving good treatment to Khan when he was in custody.
The contents of the CD rocked both houses of the state legislature Tuesday after it was raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Phadnavis Monday.
Leader of Opposiiton Eknath Khadse alleged that Deshbrathar had been suspended as he planned to submit the CD to the Supreme Court.